PRESS STATEMENT By People’s National Congress Reform Thursday, 1 June, 2006 Hall of Heroes Congress Place, Sophia.




SUMMARY:
• The Leader, members of the Central Executive and, indeed, all members of the PNCR, extend their heartfelt sympathies and condolences to PNCR Vice-Chairman, Deborah Backer and her entire family, at this time of profound grief on the death her mother, Mrs. Barbara Yvonne Osman nee Owen;
• The PNCR, in collaboration with the joint former parliamentary opposition, will continue its struggle for an electoral roll that gives all parties a fair chance and supports the holding of free and fair elections which meet internationally accepted standards. In the face of recent developments, the PNCR will also step up its struggle for an election which is free from fear;
• The People’s National Congress Reform condemns the nefarious media campaign that has been mounted by organized crime to besmirch the Commissioner of Police and undermine national security. The PNCR is deeply concerned by the apparent vulgar collusion of at least one media house in the promotion of this despicable scheme;
• The PNCR congratulates the West Indies team on its (4-1) victory over India in the just concluded one day five match series.

PNCR CONDOLENCES ON THE PASSING OF MRS BARBARA YVONNE OSMAN, MOTHER OF PNCR VICE-CHAIRMAN DEBORAH BACKER

Mrs. Barbara Yvonne Osman nee Owen, mother of PNCR Vice-Chairman Deborah Backer, passed away Sunday, 28 May, 2006, at the age of 81. She was also the mother of Dawn Murray and Denise Nelson.

The Leader, members of the Central Executive and, indeed, all members of the PNCR, extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Deborah, Dawn, Denise and the entire family, at this time of profound grief.

In a working career spanning 47 years, Mrs. Barbara Yvonne Osman worked as a teacher and then at the Rice Producers Association, Bookers Ltd and the Demerara Bauxite Company (DEMBA) which, on national ownership, became GUYBAU. She ended her working life at BIDCO, the holding company for the bauxite industry in Guyana.

She was very active at the Theatre Guild, initially as an actress and later serving as the Front of House Manager for several years. She was an avid cricket fan, a lover of scrabble and possessed of an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of card games. Like many people of her era, she had a deep abiding love for the country of her birth. She was a life-long member of the Presbyterian Congregation and an Elder of the St Andrews Kirk.

Her funeral will take place at 15:00hrs on Monday, 5 June, 2006 at the St Andrews Kirk, Brickdam.

ELECTIONS UPDATE: THE PPP/C PLOT

With the passing of time the smokescreen dissipates and the plot of the PPP/C is exposed

Most Guyanese have observed the manner in which the PPP/C is taking the country to the precipice by insisting that there should be no verification of the 2001 OLE, while pretending, from time to time, that they are willing to discuss the matter. The most recent such pretence is the suggestion that GECOM would seek legal advice on the issue of verification.

This suggestion is intended to keep the Commissioners engaged while GECOM proceeds with its present course of action, which does not include the verification of the 2001 OLE. The Opposition Commissioners would be very naive to believe that there is any sincerity in this suggestion from Commissioner Shaw. The Commission has already received legal advice to the effect that, if the projections of the census appear “out of line” with the number of potential voters recorded by GECOM after Registration, there should be verification by the method of house visits.

Commissioner Shaw, while making such a time wasting recommendation, is, at the same time, vigorously and viciously pursing the agenda of the PPP/C to ensure that the Voters` List does not benefit from any close scrutiny. It is the PPP/C that has suggested that Claims and Objections could be used to cleanse the list. Lumumba is on record as saying that the PNCR is lazy and does not want to do the necessary fieldwork to cleanse the list.

The reality is that, in every area in which there is a majority of PPP/C supporters, the PPP/C has mobilized their supporters to be un-co-operative, obstructive and hostile to PNCR fieldworkers as they seek to do just that. None other than Commissioner Mahmood Shaw himself, over the last weekend in his fiefdom of Enmore, led a hostile band, of approximately 100 PPP/C activists, to intimidate residents and PNCR activists as the PNCR sought to do the legitimate political work of house-to-house checking of names on the GECOM Voters’ List. Such hostility has been evident in other communities across the country.

Our field reports confirm that PPP/C activists continue to seek to deceive innocent and decent citizens, in many areas, by presenting themselves as GECOM officials. All of these developments make the case for verification even stronger. The PPP/C is bent on having a padded Voters List.

Our examination of the list reveals that many dead persons are still on. The likes of deceased Celeste Dolphin are still on the list. Who is to tell how many more dead persons, not generally known to us, are on the list, including those who died overseas. With the campaign of PPP/C, through their usual politics of fear and intimidation, how will such names be identified and eliminated?

The PNCR is convinced more than ever that there is need for verification and that it is GECOM`s obligation to ensure that the list is cleansed.

That apart, much of what GECOM is doing is not elector friendly. The number of centers available for the transaction of election related matters has been greatly reduced; the burden is on the elector to finance his or her involvement in the process. Imagine such a burden on the vast number of young, first-time and unemployed voters. Access to Claim and, more so, Objection forms is limited to persons who visit these far flung offices to have GECOM officials record each individual transaction. In the face of this and many other difficulties, GECOM goes along merrily proclaiming its state of preparedness and, wherever it acknowledges slippages, the PPP/C are the first to insist that the deadline must be met, yet they propagandize about the independence of GECOM.

The PNCR, in collaboration with the joint former parliamentary opposition, will continue its struggle for an electoral roll that gives all parties a fair chance and supports the holding of free and fair elections, which meet internationally accepted standards. In the face of recent developments, the PNCR will also step up its struggle for an election which is free from fear.

The PNCR empathies with the opposition nominated Commissioners and salutes them for there valiant endeavors to have GECOM create the facility and environment for the holding of a free and fair election, which is also free from fear.



INSPIRED TAPE CIRCULATION CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLICE COMMISSIONER FELIX

The People’s National Congress Reform condemns the nefarious media campaign that has been mounted by organized crime to besmirch the Commissioner of Police and undermine national security. The PNCR is deeply concerned by the apparent vulgar collusion of at least one media house in the promotion of this despicable scheme.

In recent days, there were a number of reports in the print and electronic media of an alleged taped telephone conversation of the Commissioner of Police. At the request of a media house, the PNCR has reviewed the recording and wishes to comment as follows:

1. The PNCR cannot vouch for the authenticity or integrity of the recording.
2. The PNCR states categorically that no official or Officer of the PNCR was involved in any telephone conversation with the Commissioner of Police on any investigation at Congress Place.
3. The PNCR also states categorically that no member of the PNCR staff was ever arrested or detained at the Airport with any drugs. If therefore there was a plot to put drugs on any member of our staff the fact is that it did not occur.
4. If indeed the recording is authentic it is clear that the tape recording prejudiced a criminal investigation and there is a clear and present breakdown in law and order. In such an event, all decent and law abiding persons must unite to confront the criminal menace that is threatening to engulf our nation and infect our lives. The PNCR stands ready to be part of this noble effort to defend our nation against the scourge of barbaric, self-confessed criminals and drug lords.
5. The PNCR is alarmed that media houses are making public, for whatever reason, what they believe to be details of the Commissioner of Police discussing an on-going investigation. It is clear that the publication of this information would have compromised the particular investigation and has had the effect of reduced public confidence in the safety of communicating with the police.
6. This would be a definite breach of the integrity of internal communication in the Guyana Police Force, which would allow organized crime and crime bosses to out-manoeuvre and elude the police.

The PNCR is surprised that media houses and media personalities, instead of seeking to sensationalise these tapes, were not seized with a sense of moral outrage, patriotism and civic mindedness on the surfacing of these taped conversations, purporting to be of the Commissioner of Police. The Party is of the view that, it is the civic duty of all media practitioners to let the crime bosses know that the illegal violation of the privacy of any Guyanese, be it the Commissioner of Police or any other Guyanese, will not be condoned. Therefore, there would be no benefit in making such recordings since they would not be published.

The PNCR has noted the malicious interpretation, of some segments of the recording, by certain sections of the media where it is alleged that there was a plot to involve the PNCR to plant “drugs” on someone. The PNCR calls on all media houses to be responsible and to respect the Media Code of Conduct which they recently signed and to ensure that organized crime is not allowed to use the media to wage a campaign aimed at undermining the functioning of the Guyana Police Force. The PNCR also calls on the Commissioner of Police to take immediate steps to secure the internal communications of the Guyana Police Force.

The PNCR believes that recent events are clear indicators that Guyana is on the verge of the major sectors of national life, including the media and institutions of the state, being over run by organized crime. The attitude of the Bharrat Jagdeo Government has further strengthened and empowered them. The PNCR, therefore, holds the PPP/C Government directly responsible for the current breakdown in law and order, the upsurge of violent and organised crimes and the deteriorated security situation.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WEST INDIES TEAM

The PNCR congratulates the West Indies team on its (4-1) victory over India in the just concluded one day five match series. The performance of Ramnaresh Sarwan in this series was outstanding as was the all round performance of the team under Captain Brian Lara.

The victory augurs well for the West Indies in the upcoming Test series and the future of West Indies Cricket.

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Thursday, 1 June, 2006