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Opposition MP Charles Ramson resigns from parliament to study Oil and Gas in UK; chides govt on missed opportunities

The People's Progressive Party Civic's Charles Ramson Jr.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic’s Charles Ramson Jr.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPPC) Charles Ramson- considered one of the young prominent faces of his party- has resigned from Parliament with immediate effect to take up a British scholarship to pursue studies in oil and gas, he announced  Sunday.

“While the decision was easy, it was still one of the toughest things I have had to do… Friday I submitted my letter of resignation from Parliament,” he said on his Facebook profile. Ramson said on his Facebook profile.

The United Kingdom (UK) has awarded him a Chevening Scholarship to pursue a Masters of Science (Msc) degree in oil and gas enterprise management at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The PPPC and Ramson had been dodging questions for months about whether he would have been leaving active politics to seize the educational opportunity.

In his letter of resignation to House Speaker, Dr. Barton Scotland on September 30, 2016, the PPPC parliamentarian suggested that he is positioning himself to become a key decision-maker in Guyana’s oil and gas sector.

“As Guyana continues to move in the direction of becoming an oil and gas producing nation, it is absolutely critical for our national development that we have Guyanese who are technically trained in the oil and gas sector. This is particularly important for us as a nation in this preparatory phase as we frame the relevant policy, law and vision if we are to avoid the often cited “resource curse” commonly associated with oil and gas producing nations.

There is no doubt that the absence of any member of the Cabinet with any such technical training or experience in the sector will have a militating effect on the pace and quality of development not only of the nascent sector but of the country. Worryingly, this absence will also increase the likelihood of squander and consequently, the expected benefits will elude the Guyanese people,”  Ramson said.

In an apparent effort to portray young and new faces, though a backbencher, Ramson was often given or took the opportunity to speak in the National Assembly. He was also at the forefront of many of his party’s street protests.

Ramson used the opportunity to tell the House Speaker in his resignation letter to express “extreme disappointment” with the absence of youths in Cabinet and on the government benches, saying that it “increases political apathy and destroys legitimacy.” “This is particularly regrettable given the youth drive leading up to the election and now young people feel betrayed and voiceless,” he said.

He also criticized the APNU+AFC government for not doing enough to forge national unity and losing the opportunity to do so in the National Assembly by allowing Bills to be subjected to scrutiny by bipartisan parliamentary select committees despite pleading by the opposition PPPC unlike the last eight years of his party while in government.

“The squandered opportunity which cannot now be regained would have framed the success of politics by forging a working relationship among political leaders in a country plagued by divisions in politics and race or a combination of both. Admittedly, this may have slowed the process but being able to work together despite differences is the extolled virtues of a democracy. This is really what the Guyanese people would have wanted first and foremost from us Parliamentarians – lasting unity forged in struggle rather than notional unity spoken in the abstract,” he said.

Ramson is the son of former Attorney General and Retired Justice Charles Ramson Snr. who is Guyana’s Commissioner of Information under the Access to Information Act.

  • Col123

    Oil and gas Masters with his law degree????. The future of oil and gas is dependent on several variables..The future is in renewable energy! …not sure what I am missing!

    • ExPPP_Man

      You just jealous that the scholarship didn’t go to a black man

  • rs dasai

    You already won the Ryder Cup. We are still controlled by the Masters. Not golf. Let it go.

    • Col123

      Tiger will be back in less that two months… watch him on his next four majors pickup…

      • rs dasai

        Mine eyes are on him always. I am with you.

  • Lucy

    BRITISH, USA, CANADA will love to snatch the young talents from Guyana…Leaving the OLD dunder heads behind to take Guyana back to the 19 century….Implementing Cassava flour, water taxi and continue to use their HELLO MOTO flip phone….This is the skills Guyana need in parliament….Old retired washed up ex-army men and lawyers….We do not like to see young bright individuals….

    • Col123 it with your attack on them seniors!..but you have a point…greed is their motivation…and those sobs will die and leave it all!

  • Col123

    Yea.. President for the Mickey Mouse club… just kidding!

  • Lancelot Brassington

    He has abandoned the courtroom to go where he thinks there will be more cheese. Typical greedy PPP man.
    By the way when will the next crop of SCs be named. The coalition has been in office for sixteen months. Could it be that ministers who have not earned it are making unreasonable demands and Granger has not figured out how to turn them down? Better yet if some PPP men (not Chatri) are eligible. Get on with the show Granger before some more old men go to their grave without being awarded silk. At least one minister has earned it.
    Is Ramson sure that any multinational will be interested in employing him? He may well end up applying to the government for a job in the relevant oversight body. Even if he gets it the salary won’t be more than a lawyer’s earnings. Unless of course the PPP is back in power and inflate his salary like Bharat Dindyal’s. This is a serious gamble Ramson.

    • rs dasai

      Charles Ramson is his own MAN. He has a BRAIN and is using it. He needs no one to ‘advise/suggest/tell/goad etc. what to do with his life. His move is not a gamble. And if it is, it is not yours. So be safe.

      • Lancelot Brassington

        He will be using his brain during his masters programme. I am not so sure he is using it for the right purpose now. You did not say he is using his own MONEY because of course he is not. Had it been his own MONEY it would have been an LLM but since it is scholarship money it is an MSc in oil and gas enterprise management which could possibly offer opportunities for enrichment IF the political situation is right. I hope that this government puts in place all the necessary preventative measures to thwart any efforts at personal enrichment from the oil industry regardless of who is in power.They have already been offered assistance in that regard. Nothing the PPP does will surprise me.
        By the way, does Ramson need a spokesman? Looks like he has one anyway.

        • rs dasai

          Yes , he has not only a spokesman, but a ‘dictator’,YOU, who wants to ‘dictate’ to him what he should do with his life whilst bemoaning the fact that he is a PPP MP. If you are sure that he should not be awarded the scholarship, take it up with the University and ‘demand’ that one be also given to a PNC MP.
          Look at RLSG’s comments.