Nov 08, 2011 News
…Though own members have admitted “top to bottom” corruption
Executive Member of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Robert Persaud, in a statement yesterday sought to denounce what he said was the ongoing campaign of the opposition parties heading into this month’s general election to pin the PPP/C to corruption.
He said that A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) have been “creating the impression that we are, as a government and as a party, tolerating and facilitating corruption at various levels.”
Persaud’s statement flies in the face of what members of the incumbent alliance have themselves said.
Dr Cheddi ‘Joey’ Jagan at the time of announcing that he was joining the alliance of the party his father, Dr Cheddi Jagan, founded, said that he pointed to corruption among the ills in the country he would like to see changed.
Jagan said that he sees corruption not just at the “top level” but “down to the lowest”. He also said that he believes Ramotar is committed to stamping out corruption.
“A new leaf has to be turned over,” he said.
However, going against what Jagan has acknowledged, Persaud sought to deny corruption at the level of officialdom.
“We all know that there are issues in terms of addressing corruption as you go to government services and so persons would complain but to suggest that at the executive level or the state level there is this policy of encouraging corruption is a total and a ridiculous fabrication that sometimes doesn’t even warrant a response,” Persaud stated.
Persaud’s statement also contradicts what the party’s Presidential Candidate himself has also accepted, namely the existence of corruption.
“I know there is corruption in the society,” Ramotar said in a recent interview with Kaieteur News.
While identifying what the PPP/C government has done to improve financial systems and weed out irregularities, Ramotar said that while a silver bullet cannot be found, “we can improve the system and work for the elimination of corruption.”
Persaud argued that the PPP/C government has removed Cabinet from awarding contracts and that this is done by the National Procurement and Tender Administration.
However, in sworn testimony, the Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon had admitted that unless the Cabinet gave a “no objection” a contract would not be awarded by the National Procurement and Tender Administration, therefore leaving the award of contracts at the mercy of Cabinet, which is chaired by the President.
Persaud outlined a number of other statements to dispute the opposition’s claim on corruption.
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