REFORM member calls for ‘new generation’ PNC/R
Urges referendum on power sharing
Stabroek News
July 8, 2002

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Member of the REFORM segment of the opposition People’s National Congress/ REFORM (PNC/R), Peter Ramsaroop, is calling for the formation of a "new generation" PNC/R to regain victory at the general elections and to provide for racial harmony, prosperity, servant leadership and democracy in Guyana.

Ramsaroop’s plan of action to achieve this begins in 2002 and ends with the elections in 2006.

"Our plan should not just include the best strategies to manage Guyana economically, socially and politically but how do we get the additional 10-15% votes needed to be in government," he stated in an advertisement which appeared in the June 29 issue of the Stabroek News. (See page 6 of today’s edition for letter by Ramsaroop.)

Ramsaroop is asking PNC/R supporters and potential supporters to call their PNC/R representative or Congress Place with their opinions on whether the party’s stance of active non-participation was hurting the nation; whether dialogue could help the current situation in the country; whether a new generation leader should be elected; and whether power sharing was an alternative. The PNC/R has a congress coming up in August.

Issues to be considered by supporters, Ramsaroop said, included: "Is there an understanding of what are the components of the PNC/R that must be developed, produced, marketed and sold?" "Has a branding strategy been developed?" "Has a survey of the new generation been conducted?" "Do people really want the PNC/R in government?"

Outlining his 2002-2006 plan of transforming the party from the current state to a proactive strategy, Ramsaroop said for 2002 there should be the development of a working relationship with the government; community projects; establishment of an international presence by the party; and proposals on education, foreign policy, and investment strategy.

For 2002-2003, he said, there should be the election of leaders who would be assets to the party in 2005; continuous communication of modernisation strategy to the public; and the establishment of a fund-raising mechanism.

He said the 2004-2005 period should be used to develop partnerships with other parties and groups; commence a strategic campaign; establish policies and plans; establish issues committees; and begin fund-raising.

The party should concentrate on running an organised campaign in 2006, he stated.

Ramsaroop noted there have been many opinions on the future leadership of the PNC/R, especially since the upcoming party congress is scheduled for August.

He declared there were key aspects for all party supporters to consider as the PNC/R moves into unchartered territory.

"The issue is not just about electing a new leader, but about putting in place a winning team to deal with the challenging issues of working for the betterment of Guyana today and for 2006. The broader leadership has proved they cannot move our cause along with their current methods," he said.

Ramsaroop said bold leadership is not about "who earned their stripes or who can best fight the PPP/C."

He stated what was needed is a leader who could bridge the gap among race, social class, old and young and who ultimately had a vision for a prosperous Guyana and a new generation without the "baggage" of the past.

Ramsaroop said the PPP/C proved successful in the last elections because of their determination to place a young individual of the new generation at the helm.

He stated that the older generation of the two parties continued to harp about the past. Ramsaroop stressed that Guyana was a democratic society and this must be upheld even with the current economic crisis.

He called on the PNC/R supporters to focus on the issues at hand and realise that it would take many fronts in order for the party to win back the leadership of Guyana.

He pointed out that it was a fact that the majority of the voting population continued to be the younger generation.

He stated that careful attention must be placed on the majority and not those who speak the loudest.

Key questions the supporters must address, he said, are: "Are we presenting the best image the party can have?" "Is the new generation of voters seeing a party that can bridge the racial divide?"

Ramsaroop said a reflection of the last general elections would find that the PNC/R fought a competitive battle but lost owing to many reasons.

He contended that voting was along racial lines, and there was poor election management from the national level coupled with signs of internal failures in running a successful campaign.

"This is not putting blame but realising that in order to win the next election significant changes must be made," he stated.

It was Ramsaroop’s opinion that many persons would disagree with his public pronouncement to such a wide audience and the medium used.

But he pointed out that many, too, felt it was a necessary step for all the PNC/R supporters to understand the level of debate that must take place through multiple mediums of communication and just not let a few persons speak for the masses.

"It is not intended for any of us to grab the headlines at the expense of others. This is how we see the necessary tasks that must be accomplished for the betterment of our party, our children and Guyana. We will continue to push the debate among all supporters," he said.

Moving to the issues facing the country today, Ramsaroop said there should be less rhetoric and harsh words from the two main political parties, especially by the parties’ leadership.

He called for a referendum on power sharing and the appointment of competent ministers of government with experience in their field or for the recruitment of successful Guyanese from abroad to fill the roles.