Nov 07, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

Former President Donald Ramotar sits in the comfort of his home in Pradoville 1 and sends off missives to the newspapers that if they were not facetious ramblings, you would be inclined to see them as disgusting lyrics from a jaded, faded, ill-fated mandarin. The latest salvo is a letter titled, “Guyanese of all political views must join the fight to promote integrity in public office.”
Mr. Ramotar has now earned the title of Jekyll and Hyde of Guyanese politics. Defeated in the election for the presidency, ousted from the General-Secretary position of his party, denied the post of Opposition Leader, not considered for a seat in Parliament, Ramotar operates from the letter pages of the newspapers, where he professes to be the guardian of ethics in the exercise of power. But in truth and in fact, he was a Draculean custodian of power when he was General-Secretary (1997-2013) of his party when it was in power, and as President of the Republic, 2011-2015.
Let us examine the Jekyll and Hyde politics of a man who wants the reclamation of integrity in public office. One has to accept that by his advocacy he posits that during the reign of his party there was such a value in operation – integrity in public office. Here is a quote from that letter-”With the return of democracy, the PPP/C Administration did a lot to try to clean up public life.” In fact, the PPP regime 1992-2015 demolished the return of integrity in government that President Hoyte reintroduced after Hoyte succeeded Burnham.
Here is the evidence of the destruction of positive values in public life during the hegemony of the PPP, in which time Ramotar was leader of the PPP and president himself.
The nation thought that President Jagdeo was married to Ms. Varshnie Singh. But she told the country the President refused to sign the legal forms, evicted her from the marital bedroom one week after they moved in at State House, and hounded her down. In her press meeting she described the President’s action as hi-tech abuse.
Contrast this with President Hoyte accepting that a Vice President stay off the job while being investigated for a possible criminal offence. And the same Hoyte interdicting the head of the army after an accusation against him of criminal wrongdoing was made by a businessman.
freddie-kissoon-300x273To date, Ramotar has never offered his views on the Varshnie Singh story. A Minister is caught up in a domestic brawl. He is hospitalized while his wife died from gunshot wounds. He remained in his top state job, and while in that position, brutalized a teenager with his gun in an East Coast rum ship over a love triangle. He retained his position. The same Minister was at it again when in a drunken state he drove into a security guard and broke his leg. All through these acts, he was not removed, even by President Donald Ramotar.
During the presidency of Donald Ramotar, the Minister of Education in a display of shockingly unbecoming behaviour, used fiery, undiplomatic language to the US Ambassador at his home in the annual celebration of America’s Independence. The next day, the President’s Chief of Staff, Roger Luncheon referred to her deportment as a “feral blast.” President Ramotar did not even comment on the misconduct of his Minister and his Chief of Staff.
The same former president that wants the return of decency in use of public office was photographed back-balling with a homeless woman who invaded an Old Year’s Night party in 2013 at the Sleep-In Hotel on Brickdam. My mind is clear on the atrocity of such an act –certainly not a president in public.
But Ramotar was not the only President do the “behind” thing. Mr. Jagdeo was videoed twice doing his gyration on the derrière of his dancing partner. The first occasion was the 2012 Old Year’s Night party of the army. The other occasion was in November 2011 during an election rally of the PPP in Annandale when his “behind” partner was a Chronicle journalist. On both occasions, Mr. Jagdeo was the president of Guyana.
Finally, a presidential communication officer was taped imploring that a male teenager make love to him. What is wrong with that? Well context is everything in life. That high Office of the President employee was at the time sitting on the Rights of the Child Commission. In all these examples cited above, the nation has not heard the views or comments of Donald Ramotar. Finally, I was at the farewell party of Police Officer, Paul Slowe when the Commissioner, Henry Greene came in cussing about not getting labba curry.