A year before the no-confidence vote (NCV) on December 21, 2018, Charran and I were guests at the birthday party of a mutual friend on David Street, Kitty. Charran told me he would like to see a no-confidence motion (NCM) in parliament so he could vote for it, because he thought the APNU+AFC government was absolutely no good.
In that conversation, I remember distinctly as we talked about the NCM, we moved away from other guests and were alone. If there is anything I could remember about that conversation, two things stood out in my mind. He asked me not to disclose what he told me. Secondly, he indicated the only reason why we would not vote for the NCM is the fear of his life.
Months after I revealed it over a fish and plantain chips dinner at Nicky’s Fish Shop on Drury Lane, Campbellville, to David Hinds. I trusted David to keep it a secret. From the time Charran told me that, I have had countless discussions on politics with Charran. He is one of my good friends. Let me set the record straight here. Charrandass Persaud is one of the most pleasant and likeable friends our family has ever had.
Coming on to the December 21 NCV, Charran told me Guyana would be surprised at what would happen on that day. In simple language, I knew what Charran was going to do. The night before the NCV, I told a personal friend over dinner at Arawak Steak House how the vote would go. I told him the ruling coalition would lose. That person is a prominent politician with the AFC. But I insisted that he not repeat what I told him. I respect him and David Hinds immensely for the moral commitment to me that they embraced with deep integrity by not revealing what I confided in them. Such people are what Guyana needs to administer its affairs.
Unless I am shown evidence that Charrandass Persaud took money to vote for the NCM, I will continue to see him as a very close friend. At this point, I believe Charran showed moral and nationalist courage in supporting the NCM. In all my studies in philosophy, I know humans are capable of superlative and phenomenal courage. Humans can be guided by love of principles over commitment to friends, party and government.
The Mueller Report into President Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians is relevant to Guyana. All Guyanese, young and those getting on in age, and those that can be considered old, should read the redacted, published version. It is replete with people who refused the president’s requests to lie for him, to issue statements denying things he told them and to follow instructions that were legally and morally offensive to life. Some chose to resign. Others allowed themselves to be fired.
What the Charrandass debate has done to the young people of this country is irreparable harm. We have one of the youngest populations on Planet Earth and the way certain types of rhetoric and certain types of sick language were used in furthering the power-drunk instincts of Guyana’s politicians, young people were left with the graphic impression that Guyanese do not have integrity, and there are people in this country that do not have the courage to defy power and fear and vote for their conscience.
As I type this column, there are ministers in the ruling party of the UK who are telling their Prime Minister that they cannot vote for many of her Brexit proposals in Parliament. They know they will have to resign or be fired. Many have put their beliefs in front of their obligations to their Prime Minister.
The vicious attacks on Charran and the way the Charran-bashers behaved, what has emerged is fear on the part of many decision-makers to show courage, principles and morality, and stand up for what they believe is good for humanity. After the poison that was poured all over Guyana by those who knew the NCV has dented their power pursuits, young people may not want to face such a war of nastiness hurled at them.
In my opinion, the people who stood to lose power through the NCV had done enough damage to the fabric of this nation that moral courage will soon disappear from this land.
Those who are young and living in Guyana and want to follow a career in politics must follow the examples of the British Ministers and the top aides of President Trump who chose conscience over power. Civilization will not have survived if humans didn’t show such conscience.
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