Dec 25, 2018 News
Charrandass Persaud trusted no one in the immediate aftermath of his bold vote in favour of the no-confidence motion on Friday.
Kaieteur News has been speaking to Persaud since his decision, requesting that he properly explain to Guyanese his decision that essentially cut short the life of the Coalition Government of A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).
Persaud said he refused offers made by Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, to ensure his safety.
Persaud described Ramjattan’s claim that he provided security for him to get out of Parliament as ‘a sick praise-hustling lie’.
“I did not speak to any police on my way out of Parliament. Khemraj spoke to me while in Parliament and offered to give me security to get to my car. I refused to take him up on that offer because I could not trust anyone after the barbaric behaviour was displayed by the Honourable members for the world to see,” Persaud pointed out.
According to Persaud, he also refused to go in the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) camp, which had tabled the motion against the Government. Persaud indicated that he did not want anyone to say he ran over to the PPP side.
He feels that he shouldn’t have to defend any accusation about his vote because what he did was to set his conscience at ease.
“I worked to put the APNU+AFC in office, I did nothing for the people in my Region while I was an MP, and the AFC almost totally ignored the people of Region 6, except to put many on the breadline, and so I had to fix that,” Persaud noted.
Persaud also sought to put to rest assertions that he was given thousands or millions to vote for the PPP. He said persons making such claims are ‘blowing hot air and it really won’t change anything’.
Persaud noted that he had made up his mind to move against the Government, but did not do it to stop the Tobacco Bill or the Juvenile Justice Bill, which are both severely flawed. Persaud claimed to have waited on a more opportune time.
Had he declared that he was uncomfortable with the direction of the Government, Persaud said he would have been removed from Parliament.
Persaud noted that it took every ounce of guts and sanity to vote the way he did. He noted that his relationship with the Government MPs was that of a “yes man”.
According to Persaud, the one time he voted against the Government, he was no longer one of them.
“The world saw the beautiful Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence throwing a tantrum, and she was heard swearing at me. Jermaine Figueira drove his elbow into my left rib cage so often that I am still in pain. His blows were coupled with expletives. Jennifer Wade in no un-certain terms said, ‘Charrandass, you gon dead tonight’,” Persaud claims.
He noted that the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs has to be sanctioned for stopping the voting process after he said ‘yes’.
“I am hoping that my actions will encourage more MPs to so vote, as long as such act can be justified. They must do so without fear. That will give Ministers and legislators a greater concern for the citizens, and they will have to do more to benefit the populace.”
Persaud claims that he did not just ‘run off’. He said that his flight was booked because he wanted to visit his grandchildren for the Christmas holidays.
AFC PUPPET PARTY
Persaud, who has since been expelled from the AFC, claims to have initially objected to the AFC joining APNU and forming the Coalition Government. He said that these objections also came from Dr. Veerasammy Ramayya, who was a key political figure that campaigned with AFC in Region 6.
Despite the objections, Persaud noted, that they both believed that it would not have made a difference because the minds of the executives of the AFC were made up.
Almost immediately after government was formed, Persaud said it became obvious that the AFC was a puppet party.
“The APNU had total control of what happened in Parliament and the AFC objected to nothing. There was never a discussion with the AFC backbenchers on any bill or motion. We were to vote as the Govt. side voted… always,” Persaud pointed out.
One of the bills Persaud said that he did not agree with was ‘Prime Minister, Hamilton Green’s Pension Bill. He questioned the fairness of the Bill since Green’s pension would be equivalent to that of recently retired Prime Minister, Sam Hinds, when Green had left that job almost 40 years ago.
Persaud reasoned that at that time, Green’s salary could not have been more than $120,000 per month and that was all he was entitled to.
Further, Persaud revealed that at the time, he, along with AFC members Audwin Rutherford, Haimraj Rajkumar and Michael Carrington, wrote to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and copied the letter to AFC Leaders Raphael Trotman and Ramjattan.
The four AFC backbenchers without portfolio asked that the AFC have a caucus before they entered parliament so that their votes and responses on bills could be synced.
“That never happened. We were just numbers,” Persaud noted.
When it came to the closure of the sugar estate at Wales, Persaud claimed that they knew of it when it happened, and it was the same for the closure of the Rose Hall Estate
“Sure, we, the backbenchers had no say. But what was the role played by Nagamootoo and Ramjattan and the executives of the AFC? To sit there and just vote for the passing of all Government bills? They never ventured against any Government Bill or Motion,” Persaud stated.
He claimed to have made one promise to the people during all his addresses at platforms or on TV.
“If the government he was working to put in office does not perform to the satisfaction of the people, he will work just as hard to remove that government,” Persaud noted.
Persaud noted that reasons for his discontent with the APNU/AFC Government included the whopping 50% increase for MPs; the rent for the Sussex Street Bond for whopping $12.5M per month; the closure of the sugar estates which left thousands of people out of jobs and no alternative was presented to them; the appointment of Noel Holder as Minister of Agriculture when his name was never introduced to the AFC before the results were published.
“I looked helplessly at the appointment of several persons who were not ‘fit and proper’ to positions of importance and high paying,” Persaud highlighted.
He also took issue with the appointments to public hospitals, the GECOM chairman and the Vice Chancellor of UG to name a few.
Most recently, he noted that the public declaration by Lawrence that ‘she is PNC, her friends are PNC and she will give wuk to PNC people’ was a slap in the face of all Guyanese.
Persaud also noted that a signing bonus of US$18M was paid to Guyana in early 2016, by ExxonMobil, but that was not disclosed until it was exposed by non-government persons.
“Why? Who wanted to hide the people’s money?” Persaud stated.
Other matters he cited were the promises to the rice farmers of $9000 per bag of paddy and the non-issuance of gun licences to fishermen.
“He issued over 120 guns to Amerindians and Minister Garrido-Lowe told me ‘them boys sleeping with the guns”. Fishermen are dying, families are ripped apart and no gun is issued to them,” Persaud noted.
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