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Small opposition party, Nagamootoo differ on timing of national unity overtures

Leader of the Organisation for the Victory of the People, Gerald Perreira.

Leader of the Organisation for the Victory of the People, Gerald Perreira.

Leader of the small opposition Organisation for the Victory of the People, Gerald Perreira first wants members of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) prosecuted for corruption, narco-trafficking and murder before the government engages in national unity talks with that party.

“To just speak about national unity and for them to come on board and get on board without addressing issues is not the right thing to do. It is as though these things never existed or you just sweep it aside,” Perreira told Demerara Waves Online News.

He argued that the coalition was sending mixed signals, but reconciliation and atonement could only be achieved if  several burning issues such as extra-judicial killing of more than 400 persons, the PPP’s alleged connection with infamous elements, alleged illegal spending and corruption. “To get national unity, there are certain things that must be done and then when that is finished then you can put mechanisms in place for how you approached that sort of thing but for the time being is just rhetoric,” he said.

However, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo prefers to strategically leave the door open for negotiations with the PPPC which lost narrowly to the A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition especially since no one has been convicted.

“Until a court of law decides upon the guilt or innocence, I shouldn’t use that as a weapon to close the door or to use that as a pretext to close the door. I believe that the rule of law is sacred and until proven guilty the presumption of innocence works in favour of the opposition,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

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Asked whether he should not put his overtures to the PPP on hold until the various allegations reach the court and are settled, Nagamootoo said sometimes politicians work on two parallel tracks. “If you go down the way on a one-away track and for some reason that is shut, you have nowhere else to go. You have to constantly create an alternative way of doing things,” he said.

The Prime Minister believed that if the coalition and the PPP continue to talk while others are eventually jailed, there would be an even greater opportunity for bilateral discussions between those who prefer negotiated settlements and others who favour prosecution and alienation.  At the same time, Nagamootoo ruled out any negotiations to avoid suspects from being charged and prosecuted in an effort to achieve national unity. “I am not going to negotiate away out of investigation and/or prosecution,” he said.

Saying that he has been always favoured national unity since his 50 years in the PPPC, Nagamootooo prefers to ensure there is always “political space” to avoid “open confrontation and violence.”

The small political parties that contested the May 11, 2015 elections but got no seat are United Republican Party (URP), The United Force (TUF), Healing The Nation Theocracy party (HTNT), the Independent Party (IP), the National Independent Party (NIP) and Organisation for the Victory of the People’s Party (OVPP). They together won 4,745 votes, far less than one seat in the National Assembly even if a post-election coalition was possible.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Enough with the foolish unity government talks with the Jagdeo-led PPP.

    I do not know this Perreira guy, but he is right that the coalition is sending confusing and conflicting signals, seeking unity government talk with the PPP while there are still outstanding issues to be resolved, including corruption and the deaths of over 400 that implicated PPP government officials.

    I also read where Leslie Ramsammy is teaching human rights at Harvard, even though Ramsammy’s name was mentioned in New York court testimony as dealing with Roger Khan and being informed by Khan that Ronald Waddell was killed minutes earlier.

    Guyanese had their human rights denied by the PPP government, of which Ramsammy was an architect. Unity government my ass.

  • Ah Nanimus

    Only 400 scumbag low life bandits died. It should have been 800 or 1200.
    Roger Khan is a hero! When Indian people were being slaughtered left and right by the 400 and the police were hiding like little kids Roger Khan stood up. If the police were doing their job there would have been no need for Roger Khan.
    We need another Roger Khan now! The stupid PPP gov’t when in office wouldn’t even lessen the gun laws so the weak and disadvantaged people can even the odds and take out some of these scumbag bandits themselves. There wouldn’t have been any need for Roger Khan if people had easy access legally to guns.

    • Emile_Mervin

      Among the 400+ were soft targets in hire-to-kill deals and drug competitors of Khan, who appeared to be a hero to some of you because you don’t understand the importance of a law-abiding government in a community of nations setting.

      In a community of nations setting, a member nation that is facing insurmountable internal criminal problems threatening both the government and society, can turn to the group (Caricom or Commonwealth or even UN) for logistical assistance. Guyana, for example, fielded a contingent of security personnel as part of a Caricom team to Haiti to help keep the peace.

      Jagdeo knew both his government and the police force were criminally corrupt so he could not ask for outside help to fight criminal elements, lest the outsiders find out the criminal problem is not confined to armed criminals in the street, but extends deep into the government. As a result, Roger Khan became the workable option.

      Did you know that in the midsr if the Khan-era crime sprees that Jagdeo wrote asking the British for help reforming the security sector? The British responded with a package worth billions of dollars, and called for British police being allowed to work alongside Guyana’s police. Jagdeo rejected the offer, and based on what I wrote above, you should know why.

      Khan became a hero to those ignorant of reality.

      • Ah Nanimus

        Oh please, Caricom can’t even wipe their own behind. UN can’t even make a decision and act on it. Commonwealth needs help itself. In any case Guyana’s situation doesn’t qualify for that kind of help.

        British help comes with all kinds of strings attached and you have to put up with their condescending attitude. And no matter what strategy the PPP tried when in office the APNC found fault with it.

        Concerning all the things you’re accusing the PPP of-well let me tell you, better cock than you crow and still day nah dawn yet. The APNC used to say the things you’re saying and lots more. Now they are in gov’t and reality hit them they’re talking, more and more, about “lack of evidence”, “until a court of law decides upon the guilt or innocence”, “we can’t go to court without evidence” etc.

        So, Emile Mervin, the difference between you and your cohorts in the APNC gov’t is reality has hit them and you’re still living in fantasy.

        You can have the last word. I’m not going to reply. I am sick of posting and having to wait hours and hours for my post to show up. Guyanese media is uber big on moderating people’s opinion and I am sick of it.

  • Col123

    The entire conversation and comments about the loss of 400+ lives, Mr Roger Khan and the PPP administration are based upon speculation and or extrapolation from the media reports…UNLESS…you have a source information from the those directly involved , including those killed,their handlers, then Government and Roger Khan. The media reports make up the bulk of info for this uneasy period for us Guyanese. I followed those events in the media and came up with twelve premise.The one which can evolve into the most pages of examination seems to be the intent of those who wanted “slow fyah, mo fyah ,gyam fyah”…

  • Dharamkumar02

    CoI 123 what I am saying Sir that it is a very simple task what Mr Perriera is asking for and I agree with him. PM Nagamoottoo in my opinion should not be ambigous whit the Unity Govt situation at hand. The Coalition Govt should go on with their business to stabilize Crime and to move ahead with policies so the Nation can see some sor of Progress. Having said this, PM Nagamoottoo have a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders now and he should try putting policies in place as to what should benefit the Nation. The SARU (State Assets Recovery Unit) should be going about their business which I think is moving a little slow in prosecuting all those that are involved in Corruptions and Drug Dealings during the PPP reign in Govt. After that process and investigations are completed, only then PM Nagamoottoo should call for any unity Govt with the PPP Regime.

  • Ashley Singh

    National Unity! This is not in the Books of either the PPP or PNC/AFC. This is only Political posturing. Guyanese masses are SLAVES ( no disrespect intended) imprisoned in the abyss of Racism. The ‘Massas’ will never let go.