CONSISTENT AND UNITED ACTION NEEDED BY GUYANESE TO CONFRONT THE EXCESSES OF THE JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 25 September 2009




SUMMARY:
• Party members in the Diaspora recommitted themselves to ensuring the success of the Party programmes, to exposing the activities of the dictatorial and oppressive regime, to ensure that justice was done;
• The PNCR mourns the loss of Randolph Gordon who died last evening after a brief illness;
• The Government has demonstrated to all Guyanese that it has no regard for the Constitution and the Laws of Guyana;
• The People’s National Congress Reform is urging that the Jagdeo Administration have the voice on the recording, which is purportedly that of Kwame Mc Coy, authenticated;
• The strategy of the Jagdeo Administration to politicize important public service positions, even though this course of action has had dire consequences for efficiency and morality must be opposed;
• The Government has reported receiving millions of dollars from several sources to pay the money due to policyholders, but those affected persons are still unaware of the arrangements, timing and procedures that would be used to honour the Government guarantee;
• The PNCR condemns the persistent attacks on various branches of the media by President Jagdeo.

PARTY LEADER BRIEFS MEMBERS IN NORTH AMERICA

Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform and Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert H.O. Corbin, returned to Guyana on September 23, 2009, after holding a series of meetings with Party members in North America, during which, he brought members up to date on developments in Guyana and the work programme of the Party in the post Biennial Congress period.

Meetings were held with the New York Groups, the Friends of the PNCR in Toronto and supporters of the Party generally. The lawlessness of the Jagdeo Administration, in ignoring the call by Guyanese to have an international inquiry into the PPP involvement with drug lords and the execution of more than two hundred Guyanese through a state sponsored phantom gang, was fully explained. The Party Leader also outlined the immediate programme of the Party which include, establishing a meaningful conflict resolution mechanism of the Party to ensure that all members would be fully involved in the challenging period ahead; preparation for the impending Local Government Elections, including the education of the electorate on the new reformed Local Government system; the continuation of empowerment programmes for both youth and adult members, including the promotion of economic projects and the well-established literacy programme; the continuation of the Party’s welfare programmes among youth, senior citizens and victims of tragedies; the expansion of the Party Education programme to ensure that members acquired effective leadership skills; and, the struggle for good governance in Guyana.

Party members in the Diaspora recommitted themselves to ensuring the success of the Party programmes, to exposing the activities of the dictatorial and oppressive regime, to ensure that justice was done.

PNCR MOURNS LOSS OF RANDOLPH GORDON

The PNCR mourns the loss of Randolph Gordon who died last evening after a brief illness. Mr. Gordon was a longstanding member of the Party, who worked hard to promote its interest in the communities of Festival City and the North Ruimveldt area. A member of the General Council he was also a professional social worker attached to the Ministry of Labour. A quiet, soft spoken and likable character, Mr. Gordon believed in the objectives and programmes of the PNC and gave his all to ensure their implementation.

The Party tenders its condolences to his family, relatives and close friends.

May his soul rest in peace!

CONSISTENT AND UNITED ACTION NEEDED BY GUYANESE TO CONFRONT THE EXCESSES OF THE JAGDEO ADMINISTRATION

It should be obvious to all Guyanese that united and consistent action is essential to ensure that the excesses of the Jagdeo Administration are brought to an end. The Government has demonstrated to all Guyanese that it has no regard for the Constitution and the Laws of Guyana. Public opinion, even in the face of glaring discrimination, abuse of power by its officials and inappropriate behaviour, is of no concern to the Government. That the Jadgeo Administration behaves in this manner is a result of their confidence that they can keep Guyana racially polarized to their political advantage. The refusal of the Government to respond to calls for an international inquiry, their refusal to appoint the Chief Education Officer in circumstances where discrimination was exposed, their arrogant appointment of Kwame Mc Coy to the Rights of the Child Commission and the refusal to honour their commitment to pay those persons who suffered loss from the CLICO collapse, are only a few examples. It is for this reason that the PNCR fully endorsed the decision by all Opposition Parties to work collectively to deal with the atrocities of the Regime.

In this regard, the PNCR was fully involved in the second public forum held by the Joint Opposition Political Parties (JOPP) at Linden on Wednesday, September 23, last to sensitize the public on the issues surrounding their call for an International Inquiry into the sordid events in Guyana, as exposed in the Simel’s trial held recently in New York. The forum benefited from presentations by Mr. Desmond Trotman of the WPA, Mr. Raphael Trotman of the AFC, Mr. Keith Scott of the NFA, Mr. Everall Franklyn of GAP/ROAR and Mr. Robert Corbin, Leader of the PNCR and Leader of the Opposition. Participants at that forum highlighted the discriminatory activities of the PPP/C Administration in Linden and vowed to intensify their efforts to achieve the objectives. The collaboration of the JOPP in pursuing this matter will continue.


McCOY MUST REMOVE HIMSELF FROM THE WORK OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD COMMISSION PENDING INVESTIGATIONS INTO HIS QUESTIONABLE ACTIVITIES

Within the last week, a tape recording was carried on the Guyana Observer website purporting to be a conversation between a teenage boy who was identified as Julius from Linden and the Press Liaison to the President, Mr. Kwame McCoy. The conversation between the two individuals is highly sexual in nature and has serious implications for the protection of the Rights of children in Guyana. While Mr. McCoy has denied these allegations, there must be serious concern over these developments given the record of Mr. McCoy and the vigorous objections made by the PNCR in Parliament, when his name surfaced as the representative of the Human Services Ministry on that Commission. At that time, the PNCR exposed the unsuitability of Mr. McCoy for that position including, his well-known activities. The present allegations, therefore, come as no surprise to the PNCR. What is shocking, however, is the non-action of either the Minister of Human Services or the Office of the President on whose behalf Mr. McCoy acts.

The Jagdeo Administration has no shame and no regard for public opinion and it is unlikely that any action will be taken without the insistence by the concerned citizens of Guyana. The recent involvement of the Minister of Local Government, Mr. Kellowan Lall in a shooting incident on the East Coast and the alleged involvement of the Minister of Health in facilitating, on behalf of President Jagdeo, the purchase of the “spy” computer by Roger Khan are two examples where the Government showed contempt for people of Guyana. Instead of dealing with this matter, the PPP chose to send paid picketers to the work place of PNCR Shadow Minister of Human Services, Ms. Volda Lawrence, who had been persistent in exposing McCoy. The PPP should know that such intimidatory tactics would not work. They will only motivate the PNCR to intensify its activities.

The important issue here, therefore, is to determine whether in fact it was Kwame McCoy whose voice was heard on the recording. Here, it is interesting to note that the phone call, which was made on September 9, 2009 from telephone number 226-1832 to 223-7502, is a direct line to Kwame McCoy at the Office of the President. Further, the 15 year old in question, Julius, has admitted that it is his voice on the tape recording albeit; McCoy has claimed that the entire recording is a fabrication. If the voice on the recording is indeed that of Kwame McCoy, then there are serious implications for his position on the Rights of the Child Commission and his relationship with underage persons.

The People’s National Congress Reform would therefore urge the Jagdeo Administration to have the voice on the recording, which is purportedly that of Kwame McCoy, authenticated. McCoy is not a Government Minister. Consequently, Jagdeo is free to employ the lie detector test as was done to dismiss employees of the Guyana Revenue Authority. In the mean time, McCoy should also step down from his position as Press Liaison to the President to facilitate an investigation into this matter. If it transpires that the voice is indeed that of Kwame McCoy, then he should resign his position from the Office of the President and that on the Rights of the Child Commission.

It is appropriate that the PNCR should recall that the Opposition and all decent minded citizens in this country were opposed to McCoy’s appointment to the Rights of the Child Commission, as it was felt that he did not fit the criteria of such a sensitive and important position. The PNCR and the entire Opposition have been vindicated. The Party also notes that despite the representations of the Opposition, the Jagdeo Administration went ahead and made this inappropriate appointment. It is now reaping a rich harvest of shame from this ill-advised course of action. This is why the Office of the President has been the center of so many scandals over time. Whether President Jagdeo likes it or not, these scandals have diminished the moral authority of the Presidency and reduced its importance in the eyes of many of our citizens.

WHY THE SILENCE ON THE APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF EDUCATION OFFICER?

At a previous Press Conference, the PNCR had made the demand for the Jagdeo Administration to settle the long overdue appointment of Ms. Genevieve Whyte-Nedd as Chief Education Officer. The Party made this demand against the background that the position was too important to be surrounded by uncertainty. The Party felt, and still does, that Ms. Whyte-Nedd is the logical person for such preferment, given her qualifications and the fact that she has been acting for a considerable period in this position. Moreover, it is clear that when she acted, there were no adverse reports on her performance and that natural justice entitled her to be appointed.

The Jagdeo Administration has retreated into silence on this matter. The PNCR has information that there are several members in the Cabinet who believe that her appointment is well deserved, but they have run into opposition from the PPP hard liners who are firm in their belief that a party loyalist must hold the position of Chief Education Officer. The strategy of the Jagdeo Administration to politicize important public service positions, even though this course of action has had dire consequences for efficiency and morality must be opposed. The struggle for the appointment of Ms. Genevieve Whyte-Nedd as Chief Education Officer must be continued.

WHEN WILL CLICO POLICY HOLDERS BE PAID AND PUBLIC SERVANTS OBTAIN THE PROMISED INCREASES IN SALARIES?

The Jagdeo Administration has developed a penchant of making grandiose promises to the people of Guyana during crises, but failing to implement them when the issue disappears from the front pages of the newspapers. It is, therefore, appropriate for the Government to inform Policy Holders of CLICO when the promised guarantee, given first by President Jagdeo, and, later, by the Parliament of Guyana, will become a reality. Thousands of policyholders were assured that not a single cent would have been lost. The Government has reported receiving millions of dollars from several sources to pay the money due to policyholders, but those affected persons are still unaware of the arrangements, timing and procedures that would be used to honour the Government guarantee. The PNCR calls upon the Jagdeo Regime to inform the Nation urgently on these matters.

Similarly, President Jagdeo made the grandiose announcement that there would have been increases in wages and salaries for public servants. Since then, the Administration has retreated into silence. With the continuous escalating cost of living, workers are struggling to make ends meet. Jagdeo must honour his promises and the workers, collectively and through their Unions, must act to ensure that he is not allowed to make political mileage at their expense.

PRESIDENT JAGDEO MUST RESPECT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

The PNCR condemns the persistent attacks on various branches of the media by President Jagdeo. These intimidating attacks are normally the precursor to punitive measures. The President’s recent fierce criticism of the Kaieteur News should be, therefore, of particular concern to all Guyanese who believe that the freedom of the press is a non-negotiable element of our democratic culture. This should be so particularly when it seems that the Jagdeo Administration intends to silence the Kaieteur News for its campaign to expose corruption in the award of contracts and the poor work done by different contractors for exorbitant sums. Instead of attacking the Kaieteur News, President Jagdeo and the PPP/C should be praising that newspaper for insisting that the Guyanese people get value for their tax dollars.

The PNCR joins the Guyana Press Association and other Guyanese in condemning the attack on the Kaieteur News by President Jagdeo at the dinner sponsored by the Private Sector Commission of August 28, last. The Leader of the Opposition had anticipated that President Jagdeo would have behaved in such a crude manner and had boycotted the function. His speech, therefore, came as no surprise to the PNCR. It is time for the President to understand that the press has a right to criticise the Government as it sees fit, once this is done objectively and within the confines of the law. It is puerile of President Jagdeo to believe that every criticism of the Government constitutes an act of opposition or treachery. While the PNCR does not at times agree with the articles and editorial of Guyana’s Newspapers, the Party would defend those newspapers’ right to state their views freely, objectively and fully.


People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 25 September 2009