Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has stridently defended former government backbencher, Charrandass Persaud who created an almost one-year-old political crisis in Guyana by voting for an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion that was eventually validated by the Caribbean Court of Justice.
President David Granger reportedly said international investigators would be hired to ascertain whether Persaud was paid to vote for the motion that would ultimately see Guyanese going to the polls so far on March 2, 2020. But Jagdeo stated categorically that such a probe would come up empty-handed. “I want to say they can hire whoever they want, they will not find anything and if anyone is treacherous, if anyone, it is Granger and his cohorts… He is the most dishonourable politician, not Charrandass” he said.
Addressing a fundraiser by the Association of Concerned Guyanese (ACG) in Toronto, Canada, Jagdeo made it clear that Persaud, who was among the attendees, was not paid to vote for the motion on December 21, 2018. “There is none of that, absolutely none,” in reference to suggestions by sections of the David Granger-led administration that Persaud was bribed to vote for the Jagdeo-sponsored motion.
“Charrandass did not vote that way because of inducement,” said Mr. Jagdeo, a former President of Guyana, whose party at the time held 32 seats and needed that vital one vote from the government benches to pass the motion in the 65-seat National Assembly.
Claiming that a number of government parliamentarians quietly criticise the administration for corruption and failure to deliver promises, Mr. Jagdeo added that “Charrandass should be applauded” for voting for the motion. He credited Persaud’s endorsement of the no-confidence motion for laying bare the People’s National Congress Reform’s historical profile of clinging on to power. “His vote exposed the inherent undemocratic nature of the People’s National Congress; it just brought what was below the surface to the fore,” Mr. Jagdeo said in reference to government’s eventual claim that 34 is an absolute majority of 65 and that Persaud’s vote was invalid because he is a dual citizen.
The Opposition Leader lashed out at President Granger, questioning his sincerity by breaking his promise to sugar workers that they would be better off but now several estates have been closed and thousands of workers have been retrenched. “Who is more dishonourable? Who broke their promise? He (Persaud) has a conscience at least… He believed Granger. Granger lied to all of them. Granger and (Prime Minister) Moses Nagamootoo and now he (Persaud) said ‘I am taking a stand on principle because you lied to me’, ‘I am withdrawing my support’, so this has nothing to do with inducement,” Jagdeo said.