Will The Real Ralph Ramkarran Please Stand Up?
Attorney and Former PPP Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran, dominated PPP politics for decades. He is a PPP political dinosaur. In precise coordination with the December 21, 2018 PPP no confidence vote in Parliament, Mr. Ramkarran, announced a new political party. Fully clad in his ancient PPP induction robe, he made another predictable Charrandass-like public act of deceit. He tried to say that his party is independent from the PPP. Guyanese know that the PPP has transformed itself into a Trumpian organization characterized by breathtaking deception. It is therefore no wonder our youth clamor for a clean break form our deceptive politics.
In a November 28, 2018 Stabroek news article titled “Tied vote on budget bill would see gov’t fall,” Mr. Ramkarran wrote unequivocally that for the opposition PPP no confidence motion to pass, “The PPP needs two votes.” He proffered without solicitation that the motion required 34 votes to pass. The debate and vote took place on December 21, 2018. The final vote was 33 yes and 32 no. Government Member of Parliament, Charrandass Persaud, violated the constitution and voted with the PPP after allegedly receiving a multimillion dollar bribe. He is now under Police investigation for public corruption.
On December 23, prominent Attorney Nigel Hughes strongly argued that the constitution requires half of 65 – all the members of the House, plus one (34 votes), to constitute a majority for passage of the motion. Mr. Hughes’ interpretation of the law supported Mr. Ramkarran’s November 28, 2018 written position. Mr. Hughes’ doctrine decimated the validity of the vote and created pandemonium in the PPP. In response it began to float nonsensical theories to prop up its short-lived victory. Stunningly, Mr. Ramkarran repudiated the opinion by Mr. Hughes. He reversed himself in a December 28, 2018 Stabroek News Article titled “Ramkarran rebuffs 34 votes argument for confidence motion.”
Therein he claimed that the 34 votes argument cannot “stand up to scrutiny.” The Ralph Ramkarran of November 28, 2018 disappeared and a new one appeared on December 28, doing incredibly flexible somersaults for political expediency. Obviously he flip-flopped to adopt an amoral position, because the 34 vote requirement he proffered on November 28, 2018, invalidated the vote. This painfully treacherous expedient conversion contributes to the widespread belief among our youth that politicians are dishonest flip floppers who cannot be trusted. Hence they demand a clean break from our old, deceptive politics.
Worst, Mr. Ramkarran’s contradictions continued. In a January 6, 2019 Stabroek news article headlined
President, Cabinet unlawfully holding on to office by not resigning,” he opined that “By not resigning, President David Granger and his Cabinet are unlawfully holding on to office.” He further posited that “if the courts allow even a temporary respite [stay] from compliance with the constitutional provisions triggered after the passage of a no-confidence motion on December 21 in the National Assembly, it would be sanctioning an “illegality.
This crass and contemptuous attack on the court demonstrates the effrontery of the PPP operatives who conspired to overthrow the government. It is repugnant to the rule of law and must be resisted with ferocity. This dangerous view is being espoused by other PPP conspirators. It derives from their congenital belief that a certain segment of the population must not govern. Guyana, howeve, belongs to all of us. Therefore any group of us who democratically secures the confidence of a majority of the electorate will govern.
Mr. Ramkarran and the PPP have engaged in the reckless, subversive argument that the government must resign now, although Article 106 (7) of the constitution states that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, “and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.” In light of this provision, Mr. Ramkarran and the PPP must stop insulting our intelligence with rubbish.
The constitution expressly mandates that the government must resign only after an election and a new president is sworn in. The APNU+AFC coalition government was democratically elected by the people of Guyana for a five year term. It will not be bullied out of office by an unlawful act or by criminals. It will not resign. Subject to the jurisdiction of the court, it will serve its full five year term.
Additionally, Mr. Ramkarran asserted that “Until the (no-confidence motion) is declared by the court to have been unlawfully passed, it remains valid and binding.” In the same breath, he claimed that the court will be “sanctioning an illegality” if it stays the motion while it engages in judicial review. This is laughable, moronic hyperbole. There is a constitution motion currently before the court. which is likely to prevail. It contends in law and prima facie evidence, that the no confidence vote was unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect, and seeks said relief from the court. Consequently, why must the court allow the deleterious consequence of the vote to take effect while the matter is subjudice?
Moreover, why must the court not grant a temporary injunction to pause the irrevocable and fatal consequences of the vote while it studies the applicable law, evidence and arguments to make a finding of fact and ultimate determination of its constitutionality? Any argument to the contrary is dishonest and disregards the utilization of this judicial remedy in every jurisprudence. More important, if Mr. Ramkarran truly believes he’s right on the law, and that the court cannot stay the vote while it reviews the matter, then I challenge him as an Attorney to stop seeking injunctive relief from the court on matters for which he seeks judicial intervention.
Mr. Ramkarran further made the mother of all fraudulent claims. He said the no confidence vote has triggered a “caretaker convention,” which prevents the government from making major policy decisions or from passing laws. This crackpot caretaker government theory is an invention of the PPP. It has no basis in law. It was conjured up to convey the impression that the people’s democratically government is “illegitimate.” This nonsense is a PPP hoax that belongs nowhere else but a crackpot.
Mr. Ramkarran might be a crafty, septuagenarian, PPP politician with decades of experience in PPP politics. But our young people can no longer be fooled. They know a Charandass con move when they see it. They know that Ramkarran’s new party is a ploy, and that it will merge with the PPP close to the election to call themselves a new coalition. Our youth are tired of the Charrandass-type deceptions. They want a clean break form our deceptive politics. I challenge them to take a stand now and dismantle it.
It must be devastating for Ralph Ramkarran to begin his reconditioned political career as a rudderless flip flopper. Is he a PPP or not? Is he for 34 votes or not? Is a temporary injunction illegal or not? Is there a caretaker provision in the constitution or not? Does the constitution mandate the government to resign after new elections or not? On all of these questions Ralph Ramkarran has either flip flopped, or flipped the law to suit the desired PPP outcome. We really don’t know which Ralph Ramkarrans will show up on a given day. So I ask, will the real Ralph Rankarran please stand up?