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PPP MPs facing “witch-hunt” criminal charges will not be removed from Parliament- Jagdeo

Dr. Jennifer Westford taking the oath of office as a parliamentarian on Monday, August 18, 2015.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said members of Parliament representing the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), who are in legal hot water, would not be removed from the House because the party would not set the stage for many of its legislators to be recalled due to a witch hunt.

“The issue, though, is when you have what we consider a witch-hunt then they can charge twenty of us…What if they charge twenty of our members, they all step down from our side, we don’t have Members of Parliament,” he said.

Asked about the four counts of attempted larceny against former Public Service Minister Dr. Jennifer Westford,  he said the PPP would be dealing with the issue fully after the police completes a probe into the alleged misappropriation of more than GUY$500 million from the then Public Service Ministry.

“We will have approached this with different positions on the matter but we are awaiting the outcome of the other investigation before we deal with this issue comprehensively,” he told reporters.

Westford and her then Principal Personnel Officer Margaret Cummings, who is charged with several counts of forgery in connection with the purchase of several government vehicles, have been questioned about the alleged disappearance of the monies.

Apart from Westford, former Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsaran is charged with insulting behaviour and Jagdeo has been charged privately by Attorney-at-Law Christopher Ram for uttering racially divisive remarks in March 2015 at Babu John, Port Mourant.

“We believe in normal situations where there is no witch-hunt and a sinister plan to prove corruption because they campaigned on it, then in normal situations, what you said (stepping down voluntarily or being asked to do so) that is how people should act,” he said.