Opposition People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) Irfaan Ali on Friday vowed to remain in the race for the presidency, although the High Court recently ruled that he must face trial for allegedly conspiring to defraud government of a total of GYD$174 million by selling land below their valued prices.
“Not one bit! I’m not stepping aside at all. I’m here to stand up for the people of Guyana. I’m here to stand with my party in ensuring that the People’s Progressive Party moves on to victory for all Guyanese to ensure that all Guyanese have a better future, a stronger future,” he said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.
Already Ali has failed to fully address questions about whether a number of claimed academic credentials are authentic, resulting in lingering questions about whether he has the integrity to run against President David Granger.
But Ali on Friday said he would not be stepping out of the contest for the presidency in elections likely to be held later this year or early next year depending on whether there is house-to-house registration. “Definitely! Staying in the race will ensure that the People’s Progressive Party is victorious and I’m confident that we are going to be victorious,” he said.
Ali said he would appeal Justice Franklyn Holder’s decision that he must face trial in the Magistrates’ Court.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has virtually anointed Ali as the PPP’s presidential candidate.
In January, Ali, who was scheduled to travel to Canada on a meeting trip, received a correspondence from the High Commission of Canada in Trinidad and Tobago blocking him from travelling due to the court charges.