Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:00 by GxMedia
Outgoing Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Ganga Persaud has slammed suggestions in sections of the media that he has quit the job over alleged sexual relations with a minor.
“I wish to make it abundantly and unequivocally clear that I have had no sexual relations with any minor as is alleged or at all,” he said in a statement late Monday night.
He denied that such an allegation was raised or discussed with him by President Donald Ramotar.
He said those seriously libellous allegations were “causing me and my family severe public humiliation, embarrassment and trauma.”
He expressed deep shock at reports circulating particularly in the social media that tend to suggest and in some instances allege, expressly or by implication, that he had sexual intercourse of some sort with a minor.
Persaud, who resigned on January 23, threatened to take legal action against those circulating those false, malicious and libellous matters of and concerning me, cease forthwith.
“I have instructed my lawyers to proceed with litigation against every person, entity or company who continue to publish, or repeat the publication of these baseless, malicious and libellous allegations,” he said.
Persaud’s denial came several hours after General Secretary of the governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Clement Rohee admitted that he was treading carefully on questions that were posed by the media about the outgoing minister’s alleged relations with a young female.
“Whatever position the government took, Office of the President in this particular case, took in the matter and once we were involved in the consultative process, I have absolutely no difficulty with the decision of the President to sever the Comrade’s relationship with the Cabinet,” Rohee told a news conference. “If there was an act of indiscretion, if there was an act of dishonesty, whatever the act may have been that would have led the Office of the President taking that decision, the party goes along with it,” Rohee said.
Rohee declined to say whether that was the reason for the minister’s resignation. He, however, conceded that the presidency influenced Persaud to quit the post. When asked repeatedly at a news conference held on January 24 if he had asked Persaud to do so, President Ramotar only said “I accepted his resignation”. The Guyanese leader denied that there had been differences between Persaud and senior members of the PPP.
From all accounts, Persaud would remain a senior PPP member and could play a key role in any upcoming elections.