Guerrilla/gorilla warfare in the PPP
Maybe there are persons in Guyana who do not know the connection of Bharrat Jagdeo to the newspaper owned by Bobby Ramroop. Kaieteur News on several occasions has openly stated that Mr. Jagdeo is co-owner of the Guyana Times. I believe he is. Mr. Jagdeo then can place any distortion or mischief or propaganda or fake news or alternative facts or personal venom in the paper.
When there appears to be a news item in the Jagdeo/Ramroop newspaper attacking the President of GAWU, Komal Chand, the poisonous statements against Chand suggested that it was a hatchet job arranged by Jagdeo and others in the PPP. The reporting was opaque. For example, the newspaper said it interviewed several workers but there were no specific descriptions – names of sugar workers, estates visited.
The newspaper quotes unnamed sugar workers as levelling some damning accusations against Chand and cited several of them calling for his resignation.
Chand fired back saying that it was an orchestrated hit job and he hinted at the PPP leadership. The pieces began to fall in place when Anil Nandlall faulted Chand for not confronting the government when the union met it last week over the severance pay issue. Then long-standing PPP sympathiser, Ramon Gaskin, came out on Thursday demanding that Chand must go because he was and is a failure.
As the controversy swirls, there are some interesting emanations from some PPP leaders which point to a war within the PPP. First, PPP Parliamentarian Indra Chandrapal took the side of Chand saying that there are dark motives behind the verbal assault on Chand. Obviously she means within the PPP since, it was the Guyana Times that carried the accusations against Chand and not any other media houses.
Then when asked about the Chand affair, Gail Teixeira stayed clear of any criticism of Chand, saying quite unambiguously, that GAWU and the PPP are two different organisations and see things differently and saying unambiguously again that she does not want to comment on the situation.
Juan Edghill when asked to speak on the alleged failure of Chand in the recent confabulation with the Government chose not to offer an opinion.
Analyzing all the angles in this back and forth drama, it would appear that there are serious battles taking place in the PPP’s temple and Bharrat Jagdeo is in the middle of it. If we assume that the Guyana Times hit job was the work of Jagdeo (and from all appearances it looks so), then several PPP leaders cannot be that naïve not to know this. But many of them are not backing their leader’s position on Chand. Why? The situation inside the PPP is kind of ironically complex.
With each passing day, as the coalition makes terrible mistakes, the PPP war room senses election victory. But ironically this prediction has inherent problems. Several top leaders in the PPP do not want Jagdeo to run even if he wins the two-term court case in the Caribbean Court of Justice.
They feel Jagdeo had fifteen years in control and that the mantle should pass on. Even if he loses the court case, some big wigs in the PPP do not want him to be the face of the 2020 campaign. They feel that the small percentage that the PPP needs to carry them to 51 percent Jagdeo cannot bring.
The mathematics is not hard to do. With all Indian votes going to it, to still win the PPP will need a huge percentage of Amerindian votes. But herein lies the headache. Who says all Indians will vote for it? Who says it will get a huge slice of Amerindian votes? The PPP will not reach 50 percent. It needs a small percentage from African Guyanese, the ballots of the Indians that do not like Jagdeo and an increase in Amerindian votes. Many feel that such a configuration is possible if you have a new Presidential/Prime Ministerial team without Jagdeo.
The headache becomes a nightmare because Jagdeo is not going anywhere. What the Chand story did was to open up old wounds. Some PPP stalwarts believe Jagdeo’s confrontationist style is going to play into the hands of the APNU-AFC leadership and could only drive fear in Indians who may migrate quicker or adopt an introverted life style.
Secondly, they feel that some forms of compromise and concessions are what Cheddi Jagan would want and it will rebound to the electoral and political favour of the PPP. The attack on Chand is the first salvo fired by the Jagdeo faction. As the months move on and as 2019 nears, the fight will get nastier.