PRESS RELEASE People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana. May 10, 2008

Dr Luncheon’s Malicious Misinformation on the Payment to Party Scrutineers

The People’s National Congress Reform demands an unqualified apology from Dr. Luncheon for the deliberate and malicious misinformation which, as spokesman for President Jagdeo, he deliberately spread to the nation about the PNCR being unable to account for $100M from GECOM.

Perhaps, Dr Luncheon should clean his own stables first find out whether the PPP/C can account for the $100 M, plus, which was also paid to them.

It is clear that Luncheon wants to deceive the public into believing that money paid to the scrutineers comes to the PNCR as a Party. It was agreed that an allowance would be paid to scrutineers for the work they are required to do to guarantee the integrity of the Registration process. Under the agreed system scrutineers were appointed by the PPP/C and the Opposition and accredited by GECOM. It is on the basis of this appointment and accreditation that the agreed sums are calculated for payment.

Every month the PNCR has been submitting a paysheet listing the said names of scrutineers to GECOM. On that basis a cheque is issued against which each scrutineer is paid the amount he/she is entitled to and for which each scrutineer signs as having received.

This document is then returned to GECOM as evidence of payment of the money released from GECOM. The PNCR has accounted for all sums of money received in the aforesaid manner, with the exception of some sections of Region #8 and Upper Mazaruni in Region #7. The sum involved is less than $1M (one million). The Deputy Chief Scrutineer for these areas has signed acknowledging receipt of the bulk sum and individual receipts are being awaited because of the difficulty in accessing these areas on account of the terrain. As soon as these individual receipts are returned they will be submitted to GECOM.

It is evident that the President’s mouth piece has been directed to unleash a mischief making misinformation campaign to divert the nation’s attention from the major issues on hand, more particularly, the spiraling cost of living accentuated by the draconian 16% VAT.

The President’s failed attempts to undermine the Cost of Living Demonstration by announcing belated half measures, on Wednesday 7 May 2008, failed to deter the suffering Guyanese people from showing their anger and dissatisfaction.

In characteristic manner, the PPP/C instructed the Police to arrest scores of young men from catchment areas, such as, Albouystown, where the PNCR was mobilising for the march. Over 100 youths were picked up and detained by the Police. The unwarranted and illegal arrest of these young men is a very dangerous development, which Commissioner (ag) Greene must explain.

It was only after the intervention of parents and PNCR officials that the young men were released, on the evening of Friday 9 May 2008, without being charged.

President Jagdeo, in violation of the Guyana constitution, directed, on the night of Wednesday 8 May 2008, the Police to prevent the passage of the buses transporting participants from the West Coast of Berbice and other outlying areas. This dictatorial action also failed to stop the people from participating in the March, hence, Dr. Luncheon’s misinformation campaign, with respect to the payment of monies from GECOM for the work of Party scrutineers, was unleashed as a final assault.

The PNCR warns the Jagdeo Administration that it will not take lightly any attempts to intimidate, harass or victimize protestors who are in pursuit of their legal and constitutional rights to undertake peaceful protests.

The PNCR hopes that President Jagdeo will come to his senses and recognize that, as President of this country, he has the responsibility to effectively deal with the dire economic and social conditions being visited on the Guyanese masses as a result of the spiraling cost of living, induced primarily by 16% VAT.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana.
May 10, 2008