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PPP supporters protest outside opposition coalition meeting in Queen’s, New York

Opposition APNU+AFC Prime Ministerial Candidate, Moses Nagamootoo (backing camera with hands together) is greeted by angry PPP supporters in Queen’s, New York.

About 40 supporters of Guyana’s incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Sunday protested and booed the opposition coalition’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Moses Nagamootoo as he arrived at Queen’s, New York venue for a meeting with Guyanese.

Nagamootoo smiled and attempted to interact with supporters of the party he once loved until he resigned in 2011 and joined the Alliance For Change (AFC) as its Vice Chairman. However, they hurled insults at him.

After jeering Nagamootoo, a former long-serving senior member of the ruling PPP, calling him a traitor and a sell-out, they waited in vain for almost an hour in cold weather to serve up similar treatment to the coaltion’s Presidential candidate, David Granger. However, the vehicle that brought Granger reversed in a side entrance of Naresa’s place, the gate closed and he was whisked through a side entrance to the meeting.

“We are sending a message to the coalition and Moses Nagamootoo and Mr. Granger that their coalition is a farce. Mr. Granger used to be in the army and Mr. Nagamootoo has not been honest with the Guyanese people. We cannot forget the past, the PNC rigged elections, they ruined Guyana and they have not apologized to the Guyanese people for what they have done wrong and we are here to tell them that we do not trust their coalition,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Queen’s, New York is considered a PPP heartland of Indo-Guyanese supporters.

Ali said he was not opposed to moving on rather than dwelling on the past, but he wanted the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)- the major partner in APNU- to apologise for its period in office from 1964 to 1992 when it lost power to the PPP for the first time in three decades. “I am not opposed to moving on but for almost three decades we had PNC rule and dictatorship and the history of Guyana is a troubling one and no one has apologized for it and Mr. Granger has not seen it fit to say something went wrong and we must move one but as of today he has not said that,” said Ali.

Reacting to the manner in which he was greeted by the PPP supporters, Nagamootoo told Demerara Waves that he was not too surprised by the protest and that was an indication that the incumbent party was heading into certain defeat at the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections.

“I believe that the PPP is so nervous that it is paying out the true image of itself as a opposition. In every country, it’s the opposition that pickets government. This is the only government that pickets the opposition and its absurd to this broad support for the coalition, broad support for national unity in Guyana,” he said.

Specifically on being called a nimahkaram by the protesters, he accused the PPP of appealing to race- “the PPP under Jagdeo and Ramotar, they are resorting to their very final weapon to stop this express train going on to victory.”

Ali disputed claims by the opposition that corruption was prevalent, saying that international financial institutions have not reprimanded Guyana and refusing to provide additional resources. “I am not saying that there is no corruption at the level of civil servants. There is corruption at that level but to say that the President and the PPP are corrupt is outright wrong,” he said.

Supporters from both sides of the political divide engaged in short, heated arguments that were sometimes punctuated with indecent language and vulgar non-verbal expressions.

A number of the protesters later entered the meeting and made a little noise at the back before they complied with requests for silence. All persons entering the venue for the meeting were searched and patted down before.