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PPP defends “family and friends” list of candidates

President Donald Ramotar presenting the PPPC’s list of candidates to Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield on Nomination Day, April 7.

The incumbent People’s Progressive Party (PPP)  and the opposition coalition have locked horns over the ruling party including several families on its list of candidates for next month’s general and regional elections.

The coaition of a A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has labeled the PPP-Civic’s list as “nepotistic” in the face of President Donald Ramotar and several other top government officials having been included on the PPPC’s list.

“The PPP’s ‘Friends and Family List’ confirms their shameless, blatant and unbridled nepotism which the PPP continues to throw in the faces of the people of this nation. The PPP is effectively admitting to the nation that the small cabal at Freedom House sees this nation as their personal possession not only to do as they please but also to hand down and apportion to their heirs and progeny,” says the coalition in a statement.

But the PPPC lashed back, accusing its critics of attempting to deny young professionals opportunities to serve Guyana. “The fact that some of the young people happen to be close relatives of members and supporters of the ruling PPP/C administration cannot diminish nor in any way inhibit their involvement in the national discourse for a better and more secure Guyana.

The coalition notes that Clement Rohee and his daughter Rima Rohee; Dr. Roger Luncheon and his daughter Thandi Luncheon; Indra Chandrapal and her son Rabin Chandrapal; Gail Teixeira and her daughter Colleen Teixeira-Khan ; Donald Ramotar and his son Alexei Ramotar; Frank Anthony and his wife Shanti Singh-Anthony and Robeson Benn and his sister Vanessa Benn are on the PPP’s list.

In addition, former ministers Charles Ramson Sr and Haripersaud Nokta have their sons Charles Ramson Jr and Shyam Nokta on the PPP list.

APNU+AFC, however, highlighted that it has presented a diverse, credible and qualified list of candidates based on meritocracy and consensus.

The PPP accused the coalition of taking cheap shots of a number of young people who have been serving the party of their choice and government.  “The PPP condemns these vicious and unwarranted attacks on those young people who have come forward on its platform and will not sit idly by and allow them to be treated as second class citizens because of their familybackground or association with organizations or individuals who aresympathetic or supportive of the party,” said the party.