by Zena Henry
The defeated People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is not on the same page with former Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy who believes that the international community traded Guyana’s free and fair election for the country’s new found oil wealth.
During a press conference at Freedom House Friday May 22, the party distanced itself from the statement claiming that the personal view of its members on social media cannot become the view of the party.
Both former Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and his successor Donald Ramotar refused to accept the statement as that of the party. Ramotar said that Ramsammy was writing, “…in his personal capacity… he was not writing on behalf of the PPP/Civic.”
When asked, the party limited its comments on statements that the oil discovery here in Guyana was withheld from the PPP Administration only to make it public under the new APNU+AFC government. When the PPP were in government, they were only told about the potential find of oil with the most recent statement coming days before the General and Regional Elections.
However, days after the Coalition won, Exxon Mobil exploring oil in Guyana’s offshore announced that the country has a significant quantity of oil for commercial purposes. On this matter, Jagdeo did not dismiss the possibility of the find being withheld. He said, “They may, or may not have…” but the government cannot be sure of the information.
The party is however taking what they say is the fight of a rigged election to the international community. “We plan to internationalise this issue, to go to every corner of the world, that every where a government official shows up form this country, people will know that this government official does not represent the will of the people of Guyana.”
At least 30 international bodies have been identified to hear the concerns of the PPP. At home, Jagdeo said that party will keep its supports mobiled as they seek to inform the more than 200,000 persons who voted for them that they were “cheated.”
Ramotar said the international observers were duped into declaring free and fair Elections because they did not focus on the machinery; which is GECOM and the secretariat itself. Jagdeo said that, long before the Returning Officers sat with counting agents to go through a verification of the Statements of Polls, the observers announced that elections were free and fair.
He noted however that, “Election does not end with a good day of voting, but when results are declared and the integrity of the process and what ends up as the final numbers are verified.”
The PPP plans to file an Elections Petition in the High Court in the coming days in the hope of getting the court to order a recount of the more than 400,000 votes cast and eventually the ordering of fresh general and regional elections.