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President never called opposition terrorists, no apology necessary – Dr. Luncheon

A partial screen capture of President Donald Ramotar’s statement as issued by the Government Information Agency.

Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon says there is no need for the president to apologise to the opposition for allegedly likening them to terrorists since he never uttered the words attributed to him in the press.

The Government Information Agency (GINA) on Friday issued a statement from the Office of the President (OP) captioned “An act of terrorism against the development of Guyana” which was in response to the opposition’s vote against legislation connected to the Amaila Hydropower Project the previous day.

Dr. Luncheon was asked on Thursday whether there was any intention to retract the statement in light of the opposition parties walk out from a committee meeting on the anti-money laundering legislation on Monday and demand for an apology over the alleged terrorism remark.

“I think the president has said I never made that statement. I cannot believe that in this day of all these fine instruments that clutter our offices and our desk tops that the president’s address and the content of his address to the nation could be so misunderstood, misread that the notion that he called the leaders and members of the opposition terrorists remains on the front burner,” he responded.

Indeed in the televised broadcast of the address President Donald Ramotar did not make any remark accusing the opposition of terrorism instead castigating them for holding the project “hostage” and engaging in the “politics of blackmail.”

According to Dr. Luncheon, the opposition is reacting to “an imagined slight.”  When it was pointed out that the “act of terrorism” caption was included in the OP-sanctioned GINA release and republished in the state newspaper he acknowledged that there some fault.

“So the obvious conclusion is that which was received and sent out was wrong.” He added that the president has personally told members of the opposition that he never referred to them as terrorists.