Jan 07, 2019 News
… urges media to question Persaud’s apparent contradictory statements
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson says that the vote by his former colleague Charrandass Persaud left him “hurt and in shock,” and that neither he, nor the AFC, are ‘yes men’ for the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
Patterson gave this heated response on Thursday when he was asked by journalists to address concerns that the Alliance for Change (AFC) became “YES men” in the APNU+AFC coalition.
“Well, you see, that is [a] fallacy I wanted to address. If anyone is thinking that I am there sitting (in the House or at coalition meetings), and I am just going to be a YES man, they definitely don’t know me. I am not a ‘yes man.’”
He expressed that, though Charrandas Persaud’s vote left him in shock, he could understand Persaud’s interests being compromised because, being in the sugar belt, he could be compromised by divergent political interests.
“I do understand Charrandass being in the sugar belt, and that is what I consider…the PPP stronghold, and there is misinformation that will occur and all of that.”
Patterson said “Charrandass used to tell us what they are saying and we would address it.”
He further explained that Charrandass Persaud’s vote and consequent criticisms of the government were particularly surprising, because Persaud would always tell him what was needed “in terms of roads, lights and bridges… and we sought to cater to those. But never did he raise other concerns about the party with me.”
Patterson explained that he’s not faulting Persaud for exercising his right to dissent, but that he expects persons to be “absolutely honest” about why they’d make such a decision. Even then, he said that Persaud’s dissent has not hurt the relationship between the AFC and APNU.
“We had full and frank discussions on this matter. We made a collective decision on how to operate, and that is where we are…”
In his interview, Patterson implored members of the media to question Persaud more about apparent contradictory statements.
“But perhaps, you should ask him, what particular issues he thought he was muted on. Can’t be the Berbice Bridge. Can’t be the sugar workers.”
AFC Member, Jermaine Figueira recently blasted Charrandass Persaud, for what he deemed as Persaud’s “naked misrepresentations”. This is due to the fact that Persaud made statements after the no-confidence vote that seemed to contradict his statements before he made the vote.
Notably, Charrandass had, in Facebook posts, sought to defend the government’s closing of the sugar estates. In a Facebook post on March 8, 2018, Charrandass chastised former sugar workers for keeping their children from school, saying that they could send their children to school, but that they choose not to, to please the PPP/C’s criticism of the government. Then after the vote, Persaud said that the closure of the estates is one of the mistakes the government made that left him disappointed.
Figueira also spoke about Persaud’s statements during the budget debates, where the former AFC member spoke very strongly about the capital expenditure for the Berbice Bridge.
Figueira, in a letter, asked “Why would someone, in justifying a vote of conscience and speaking about his own integrity, engage in such an easily disproved untruth to support his case?”
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