Former President Bharrat Jagdeo is on his People’s Progressive Party Civic’s list of candidates while Vanessa Kissoon is off the coalition’s list for the upcoming general and regional elections.
Opposition Leader David Granger, shortly after witnessing the presentation of his list of candidates, dismissed Jagdeo as a liar. “Mr. Jagdeo has been known for saying things which are not consistent with the truth,” he said in response to a question by Demerara Waves Online News.
Jagdeo had categorically stated less than one month ago that he would not have been on the PPPC’s ticket and that he was not interested in any constitutional office. Currently, a High Court case that challenges the constitutionality of the two-term limits by a president is pending.
Granger confirmed that Kissoon is not on the list, explaining that there were set criteria to determine who would be. Among them is that she has already served two terms as a parliamentarian. “No she is not on the list,” he said He declined to answer repeated questions about whether Kissoon had been informed of the decision and whether there were other candidates who had served two-terms. “Well, we have a balanced list. She served two terms… We have a list of criteria and that criteria was applied because of the work that is ahead of us,” he said.
Kissoon has featured in at least two controversies involving the People’s National Congress Reform which is a major constituent in A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). They are her disagreement with a now aborted plan to increase electricity in Linden and possession of the keys and access to the PNCR’s office in Linden.
The coalition is made up of APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC).
Heads of three state-owned entities are also on the ruling party’s list of candidates. They are the Chief Executive Officer of the ailing Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco), Dr. Raj Singh; Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Mahender Sharma and the Managing Director of the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil), Badrie Persaud.
The People’s Progressive Party Civic’s list also includes city businessman, Clinton Urling; the President’s son, Alexei Ramotar and his cousin, Africo Selman formerly of PNCR and APNU; Clement Rohee’s daughter, Rima; PPP Founder Leader, Cheddie Jagan’s nephew, Dentist Clive Jagan; Presidential Advisor Gail Teixeira’s daughter, Colleen Teixeira-Khan; late Presidential Advisor Navin Chandarpal’s son, Rabindranauth Chandarpal; Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon’s daughter Tsitsi Thank Mya-Mia Luncheon , Charles Ramson Jr.- the son of Attorney General Charles Ramson, Snr; and Public Works Minister Robeson Benn’s wife, Vanessa.
On APNU+ AFC side, David Granger’s daughter, Hans Gaskin, is on the coalition’s list.
New faces on the coalition’s list of candidates include President of the Guyana Women Miners Association, Simona Broomes, who is known globally for her valiant fight against Trafficking In Persons; well-known Berbice lawyer, Joel Persid; Head of the Amerindian People’s Association, Jean La Rose; former Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Harold Lutchman and Medical Doctor, Surendra Persaud.
Returning to possible parliamentary life are Lurlene Nestor, Aubrey Norton and Mervyn Williams. Norton and Williams had been at odds with their political party, PNCR, over its leadership style and they were banished from returning to the National Assembly. Former Health Minister, Dr. Richard Vanwest Charles under the Forbes Burnham administration, who back in 2011 defected to the AFC, is also on the coalition’s list of candidates.
Also appearing on the APNU+AFC list are member of the Essequibo Paddy Farmers Association and AFC Councillor, Naith Ram and prominent Essequibo Coast businessman, Sam Bacchus.
Other parties that presented lists of candidates were United Republican Party, The United Force, the Theocracy Party and the Independent Party.