Dear Editor

TEMPERS flared on the night of December 21,2018 and emotions were raw as we all felt the proverbial knife being driven into our backs when then coalition MP Charrandass Persaud executed a vain attempt to overthrow this legally elected  APNU+AFC coalition government. Persaud, who will forever be remembered as Guyana’s “Judas politician,” gave no indication that he would have voted against the legally elected government and shocked us all. To say the least, we along with most Guyanese at home and abroad were hurt and disappointed. Anyone who listened days before to Persaud’s presentation on the budget, his best since 2015, would conclude that he is a prolific actor and a pathological liar after his act. This dishonourable man claimed that he voted with his “conscience.” Among his petty, nonsensical and confusing reasons for voting against the government were: Hamilton Green, former Vice-President and Mayor of Georgetown, who had his pension reinstated after 25 years and sugar workers who were retrenched.

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Charandass’s utterances about GuySuCo are laughable to say the least. It isn’t clear whether he was truly concerned about the GuySuCo workers who have all received their severance payments, or the fact that the estates were closed. Charandass, the man who read to become a lawyer several years ago, clearly never read anything about GuySuCo; he is totally ignorant on this subject matter.

In 2012 GuySuCo received a subsidy of G$4Billion; G$5.4Billion in 2013; G$6Billion in 2014; G$12Billion in 2015 and G$11Billion in 2016. Even though Guysuco received these subsidies, GuySuCo still incurred the following losses:- G$17.5 billion in 2014, G$18.1 billion in 2015 and G$12.1 billion in 2016. Can you believe that the APNU+AFC government’s decision to close this industry which was haemorrhaging the Guyanese economy, was the industry that Persaud voted against the government for? Clearly the former Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) MP was not up to date about the fate of the bauxite workers of Linden, who were retrenched under the PPP/C government, but did not receive their severance; or those workers from the Diamond Sugar Estate that  was closed under the PPP/C, but did not receive their severance either.

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It is obvious that the leader of the opposition was the grand architect of the ill-considered no-confidence motion. Mr Bharrat Jagdeo thinks that he has some divine right to rule Guyana and has always shown utter contempt for the laws of our country. Article 71 of the Constitution states: “Local Government is a vital aspect of democracy and shall be organised so as to involve as many people as possible in the task of managing and developing the communities in which they live.” Jagdeo bluntly refused to uphold the constitution of Guyana and hold local government elections every three years for a period of over 20 years.

On May 20, 2011 James Bond, Eddy Collins and others who protested against this were shot with rubber pellets and bled profusely. This Bharrat Jagdeo who has always shown utter contempt for our constitution is the one with whom Charandass Persaud sided. It is quite evident that we are indeed living in a new Guyana, where Charandass, a person who committed a treasonous act was safely escorted to the airport– unharmed. In stark contrast, protests and criticism of the PPP government was a death wish, as in the case of the Linden Martyrs.

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We are all aware of the court proceedings and sequence of events that took place after passage of the no-confidence motion of December 2018. It must be reiterated, that while delivering the judgement of the court in respect of consequential orders, Justice Adrian Saunders stated: “It is not the role of the Court to establish it on or by which the elections must be held or to lay down timelines or deadlines that are in principle the preserve of political actors guided by constitutional imperatives.” It is important to note that the responsibility for elections lies solely with GECOM. Article 226(1) and (7) guarantees GECOM’s independence. According to Article 226(1), in the exercise of its functions, GECOM shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority. Contrary to Jagdeo’s fallacies, rants and haphazard diatribes, the President did not delay elections but upheld all applicable constitutional provisions. An election could not be called by the president, as GECOM is the constitutional body assigned  this function and, moreover, the existing list was expired and did not include persons who are now 18 years of age. Charandass, Christopher Ram nor any of the PPP/C attorneys are clearly not experts on the Guyanese constitution.

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The upcoming 2020 elections are considered “the mother of all elections” and should be taken seriously by everyone – especially our youth who were denied their constitutional right to freedom of education from nursery to tertiary level by Jagdeo and the PPP since 1994. This is a perfect example of how Jagdeo and his cabal showed utter contempt for our constitution.

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In 2015, the PPP was already on a losing streak and they feared a no-confidence motion as they were at that time a minority government. Donald Ramotar prorogued Parliament, one of the things for which he will be remembered. He, despite his action, continued to unethically spend significant state funds without parliamentary approval or oversight. It is common knowledge that there is an investigation into the award of the Canje and Kaieteur oil blocks (worth hundreds of billions of dollars) by the PPP regime during a six-week period prior to the 2015 elections. Note that these blocks that possess a lot of potential wealth for the Guyanese people were awarded secretly; the nation was left in the dark; there was no parliamentary oversight, because parliament had been prorogued since November 10, 2014, and elections were held six months later on May 11, 2015.
You think the PPP/C really cares for Guyana and its people?

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The Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, is nothing but a flat-footed political hustler who tried his utmost to destabilise Guyana by using inflammatory speeches such as “chase them out” ; but Guyanese youth are sensible and they have ensured that Jagdeo did not racially divide us and that peace and stability prevailed. Young people, the ball is in your court, do not give Jagdeo (Irfaan Mohammed Ali) a third chance to ruin this country.
Guyana has risen from the ashes of shame, wounds and disgrace after 23 years of PPP/C rule. We have made tremendous improvements since 2015 in every single area. Let the progress continue. We must remind Jagdeo and his greedy and unscrupulous cabal that they are in no position to lecture anyone about flouting the law of this land. We must never let Bharrat Jagdeo lead this country again, since it is clear that Mr Fake Degrees is only his puppet.

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At one time I felt that Charandass was a traitor, but as the old adage goes, hindsight is always 2020. I am thankful for the fact that Charandass took off the camouflage and revealed his true self. Many residents of Guyana I am sure would wish that the thrash system was so effective and that it could take itself out, as in the case of Charandass. We are 10 times better off as Guyanese since the incident. More students became interested in constitutional law, the APNU+AFC government was given a beautiful chance to regroup and comeback stronger than ever and our supporters’ loyalty has quadrupled, as they saw first- hand the deviousness of the wicked PPP/C cabal.
This now favoured oil-rich country is in safe hands with a David Granger-led administration.

Regards
Jermaine Figueira

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