Chairman of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Joseph Harmon on Tuesday declared that Moses Nagamootoo is “the best prime minister”, days after the Alliance For Change (AFC) overwhelmingly endorsed party leader, Khemraj Ramjattan to be President Granger’s number two man.
Addressing a government outreach at Bartica, Harmon described Nagamootoo as “royalty” and went on to laud him. “The best Prime Minister we have had in this country for the last twenty-seven years, Moses Nagamootoo,” he said to sustained applause.
“I don’t care where you bring any other body from before him, that is the best Prime Minister we have had for the last twenty-seven years and we are proud of our prime minister, we are proud of our coalition partners and we are proud of the process which produces our leaders in our coalition,” he said.
Preceding Nagamootoo was Samuel Hinds who had been Prime Minister for most of the period, 1992-2015.
AFC General Secretary, David Patterson is already on record as saying that his party would be sticking with Ramjattan.
Internally, a number of party members believed that Nagamootoo has done very little to help ordinary people during his now four years in office and as constitutionally the President’s principal assistant. Outside the AFC, unofficial statistics show so far that 74 percent of 1,500 persons support Nagamootoo over Ramjattan to be Granger’s running mate.
Speaking after Harmon, Prime Minister Nagamootoo told the gathering that “Bartica ain’t gone yet”. “I’m going to send a message to those who are peddling the slimes ‘Naga gone’ and then he burst into song: “Moses ain’t get weary yet, he ain’t weary yet, he been in the struggle so long that he ain’t get weary yet” after which he said “Thank you very much, you have sent an appropriate message”.
Touching on the need for house-to-house registration before the next general elections, he remarked that he had changed from his white shirt-jac to an olive green shirt to signal that he was engaged in a revolutionary process to defend democracy. “I am back in battle gear. I am back in the battle and this is a fight that will not be surrendered by me even though I am two years short of sixty years in political life. I ain’t weary yet.”
Harmon, who is also a member of the People’s National Congress Reform, added that there is no other person capable of matching David Granger as the President of Guyana.
Nagamootoo on May 29 suggested that he would be Granger’s running mate. “President David Granger and I are looking at the possibility of abolishing fees at the University of Guyana in our second term in office,” he said.
Then AFC Leader, now Chairman, Raphael Trotman had publicly opposed Ramjattan being the prime ministerial candidate on the grounds that to change him would be to send a wrong signal to the populace that the opposition was right that the Granger-Nagamootoo combination had failed Guyana.
There is no constitutional requirement for a prime ministerial candidate.