Former APNU+AFC parliamentarian Charrandass Persaud on Friday endorsed the People’s Progressive Party’s presidential candidate Irfaan Ali, saying that he believes that Ali will do “well as president.” He also said that he will be returning to vote.
“I don’t care what [Prime Minister Moses] Nagamootoo is fighting for [or if AFC leader Khemraj] Ramjattan wants to be prime minister. When you’re in the opposition, you don’t need prime minister candidate or minister and they [the APNU+AFC coalition] are going to be [the] opposition because today [Friday], I am saying this: Irfaan Ali is a young, brilliant person. He worked for the Ministry of Finance for many years, he was chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament… and he did a funny dance with some of these people that came there and couldn’t account [for] money which they spent. That is Irfaan Ali. They questioned the boy…about his qualifications. Irfaan Ali is a bright young man and he has expressed remorse for some of the things that happened during his reign as housing minister and during the years the PPP/C spent in office and I honestly believe that he will do very well as president and today I am saying this, I will support the PPP,” Persaud said at the conclusion of a 21-minute video he uploaded to his Facebook page on Friday night.
Persaud went on to say that due to his dual citizenship, he cannot sit in Parliament but will not be “moving any motion” to have himself declared a parliamentarian. “I am not telling you like the FEDUP people are saying that I will give up my citizenship once we get a seat,” he added, before saying once again that he will support Ali in his bid to become president of Guyana.
“I know that I will make a valuable contribution to his team, to his party and to himself. I also know that Irfaan will do wonderful things for us as Guyanese. He will not be squandering oil money as you have been hearing from (government officials). He has a plan and you will hear about the plan more later, among other things. Again…having had a year to sort things out, today I am making a public declaration that I will be supporting Irfaan Ali as the presidential candidate of the PPP/C and I am looking forward to hailing him as the new president of Guyana,” he said.
Persaud encouraged persons to vote even if they don’t want to vote for any of the major parties. “Let us all go out and vote on election day even if you don’t want to vote PPP or AFC or if you don’t want to vote PNC. Go out and vote because I am going to vote,” he said.
The video, titled “No-Confidence motion…. 1 year later….” can be viewed on Persaud’s Facebook page. At the beginning of the video, he said that he uploaded the video to say a few things to mark a year since he voted against the coalition government. He addressed a number of issues including the allegations made by Ramjattan, who is also the Minister of Public Security.
Earlier this month, Ramjattan said that the investigation into Persaud, who is accused of accepting a bribe and voting with the PPP/C on the December 21, 2018 motion of no confidence will only continue once “other witnesses” come forward. This disclosure came months after Ramjattan had said that the investigation was stalled and there is no “solid” evidence to have Persaud extradited.
Since Persaud voted in favour of the opposition-sponsored motion against the government, triggering its collapse, he has come under attack from APNU+AFC MPs, officials of the administration and others.
The motion was debated on December 21, 2018 and passed 33 to 32 after Persaud voted with the opposition.
Persaud, who said he voted according to his conscience, has denied being bribed for his vote.
He left for Canada the day after the vote.
In January, Commissioner of Police Leslie James had announced that Persaud was the subject of an investigation stemming from a report of bribery and possible plans to move gold out of the country.