May 15, 2015 News
He was one of the main faces in the campaign of the 2011 General and Regional Elections for the People’s
Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
Robert Persaud, 41, was appointed as the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, following those elections, commanding a powerful portfolio that included the mining and logging sectors and the emerging oil industry.
But his absence during the recent campaign for what has been described as a critical time for his party was more than glaring.
There were no speeches from him on the political platform.
An outspoken official who grew up honing his skills at public relations, it appeared to many that one of the most prominent faces of the party that stayed in power for 23 years, was on his way out.
His ministry was under fire for logging concessions granted to Chinese investors, as well as the handling of the mining sector.
Yesterday, Persaud was among the first to concede that his party has lost Monday’s elections, although an official declaration is still to come from the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM).
In a Facebook post, the former Minister said that the preliminary election results of 50.6%-49.4%, went in favor of the A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), confirm that an appropriate national inclusive governance mechanism must be brought to the front burner.
“I was asked what best can come out of the May 11 elections: a victory where all are winners, notwithstanding the showing of each party, Guyanese, all Guyanese, (should) feel included in continuing to build a prosperous and cohesive society. It can be a grand, historical opportunity to change the paradigm, of how we govern and make everyone feel truly a part of the future as we march to 50 years of independence.”
According to the final preliminary results of GECOM yesterday, PPP received 201,457 votes while the coalition managed to rack up 206,817, a difference of 5,360.
According to GECOM, in total 342, 126 votes were counted from the ten administrative districts, one of the highest turnouts since 1992 when PPP/C first entered Government.
Persaud’s party is refusing to accept the results, saying the elections were rigged by APNU+AFC, the coalition that won.
The elections were deemed free and fair by almost 200 observers who participated in monitoring Monday’s process.
The US and UK Governments have been especially harsh in calling on the PPP/C to accept the results.
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