The PPP’s attack on the online news service, Demerara Waves, for a story it carried entitled “PPP associate ensnared in New York straw mortgage deals; being electronically monitored” has to be seen for what it is, as supporting the individual.
This was expressed by AFC representatives at the party’s weekly press conference at Fourth Street, Campbellville headquarters yesterday.
According to AFC, the PPP has responded, vehemently denying that Mr. Ahmad poured money into its campaign coffers even when the news story never made this accusation.
“What is unquestionable, however, is that Ahmad is a close associate of the PPP. A PPP campaign flyer, seen by the AFC, which advertises a PPP meeting in Liberty Avenue NY attended by Bharrat Jagdeo and PPP presidential candidate Donald Ramotar, lists Ed Ahmad as a contact,” the party stated.
However, PPP presidential candidate Donald Ramotar said yesterday at an impromptu press conference “that activity was organised by the association of concerned Guyanese in the USA which everyone knows supports the PPP, but is not organised by the PPP. It has its own organisational structure different from the PPP.”
Ramotar said that at that time when Ed Ahmad’s name was on the list it was not known that he was under any sort of investigation and he was not charged with anything that the PPP or the organised group knew of at that point and time.
The PPP’s presidential candidate explained that the party had made a statement against the online media, Demerara Waves because of the nexus that Ahmad was a major financier of the campaign in New York. “Mr Ahmad has not given a cent to our campaign in these elections.”
Noting that Ahmad was introduced to him by Khemraj Ramjattan in glowing terms at the Pegasus, Ramotar said he was told by Ramjattan of what a wonderful man Ahmad was.
“Mr Ramjattan is making a lot of derogatory statements against the PPP in all manners of things, but the first quarrel that he had with the PPP that led to him leaving was because Mrs Jagan and I invited him to a meeting to speak about the clients he had, who were many smugglers and all types of people…He insisted that he was a lawyer and that he had a right to defend these people he likes.
“So for now to paint himself in lily white garments when he has associated himself with all types of people (is interesting). I am not defending Mr Ahmad I believe if you live in a country and you break the law in the country you must face the consequences of the law.”
The AFC said that Ahmad’s hardware and realty businesses are featured prominently on the website (http://www.acgny.org/) of the PPP entity: Association of Concerned Guyanese. In fact they represent 100% of the advertising on that website.
“A cursory visit to that website is all that is required to convince anyone with a brain that this is a PPP organ. In fact, the only two persons listed on the site’s contact page, Balram Jageswar and Indra Hardat are also listed as contacts on the above mentioned campaign flyer,” the party said.
“The party also stated that it should also be noted that there are links to the Office of the President and GINA both of which are supposed to be above the fray of party politics. These links no doubt received tacit approval from high ranking officials within these bodies pointing once again to a blurring of the lines between the state and the ruling party.
“This is precisely the kind of thinking that jeopardises the peoples’ resources by allowing these to be abused for party purposes.”
Ahmad has certainly reaped rewards for his activist and mobilising work done for the PPP, the AFC said. He has opened a hardware store at the Industrial Site premises of the Mirror newspaper, a publication of the PPP, and was sold a large tract of land at Leonora that once belonged to the Guyana Sugar Corporation, it added.
“This is what the AFC means when, week after week at these very press conferences, we talk about the incorrigibly corrupt nature of the PPP and its commitment to a rapacious aggrandisement of its core supporters at the expense of the national interest.”
The AFC especially condemns the PPP’s attack on the independent media for its investigative watchdog role. The PPP release accusing Demerara Waves of being unprofessional and unethical is as ridiculous as it is disgraceful, the AFC said.
The independent media in Guyana is doing commendable work in exposing the rampant corruption and incompetence of the PPP. The Guyanese political sphere would be significantly limited without the role of the independent media. Perhaps this is what the PPP desires, it added.
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