By Shenice Blackman
The protest action attracted the likes of social activist and popular columnist Frederick Kissoon opposite Parliament yesterday, and was the scene of discontent as calls were made for the removal of former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, as the new Opposition Leader.
“I’m a historian and I have researched my country’s history from the time of slavery. My Master’s thesis in history was on Emancipation. There has not been a politician that has uttered such shameless, brazen and patent racism as Mr. Jagdeo.”
The “divisive” language used by the former President on the campaign trail leading up to the May 11 Regional and General Elections, was cited among several reasons why those protesting were demanding the PPP/C remove Jagdeo and several other “questionable” individuals from their list of MPs.
Jagdeo’s utterance has since resulted in the former President being sanctioned by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)’s Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) for being racially charged and insensitive. He has also faced a charge related to an action brought against him by attorney at law Christopher Ram.
In speaking to members of the media, Kissoon explained that the role of institutions such as the Presidency and Prime Minister are responsible for the running of the country, regardless of race, culture and demographics.
According to Kissoon, the purpose of the Opposition Leader is to ensure that the President and Prime Minister are adhering to their duties of “distributing justice and enacting policies across demographic sectors, culture, age and ethnicity”.
However, Kissoon added that during the campaign, Jagdeo used inflammatory language which insinuated that the country’s armed services would “invade the homes” of the PPP/C’s Indo-Guyanese support-base and “rob them”, under the current administration. He noted that since then, the statements have been condemned by various Non-Governmental Organisations and Human Rights groups in addition to GECOM’s MMU.
Kissoon added that Forbes Burnham, Cheddi Jagan, WPA, Desmond Hoyte and others, have been accused of racial sentiments, but they themselves have avoided making such dangerous utterances at any public forum.
“This man (Jagdeo) has no moral authority to speak for the nation as an Opposition Leader. He will be funded by the taxpayers; the Opposition Leader is no fly-by-night. They check the government and speak for the people,” said Kissoon.
“We are calling on the PPP/C to remove Jadgeo; the nation has no confidence in the PPP/C being a watchdog for the nation’s interest.”
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