Mar 06, 2021 News
– says, “It dragged democracy through gutter”
Kaieteur News – Former Municipal Councillor, Lennox Gasper, yesterday resigned from the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), citing the party’s attempt to rig the March 2020, General and Regional Elections as the main reason for his decision.
In the March 3 resignation letter addressed to the PNCR’s General Secretary, Amna Ally, Gasper recalled that he had joined the political party “with the intention of helping it execute a governance and development agenda, intended to serve the needs of the people of my town and Region, and by extension, the whole country.”
Gasper, who had been a member of the party since 2016, wrote that he was convinced that the coalition of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) was going to “change the political culture of governance” in keeping with the interest of transitioning the country to “a new dispensation of accountability in development.”
He penned his “high hopes” that when the Coalition took office in 2015, it would have implemented a rapid development plan for Region 10, and placed this against the party’s narrative over the 23 years of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) rule that Linden had been “deliberately neglected” and “underdeveloped.”
“This too was not to be,” Gasper indicated, while adding that, “We in Linden pleaded for job creation and development for four long years, while we watched with envy, as other newer towns were prioritized.”
Further on the line of eyebrow-raising signals, Gasper said, was former President’s David Granger choice to reward his ministers with an increase in salaries. He said, “While we waited and pleaded, scores of new taxes were hurdled our way instead of an easing of our burdens. With lies, deception and bullyism, the majority party in the coalition controlled the narrative in Linden and threatened to punish any local leader who dared to criticize its actions/inactions.”
Hundreds of thousands people, he said, are now saddled with debt because they could not afford the continually rising costs of living due to the albatross of new taxes placed on the working and middle classes.
Notwithstanding those developments and the “disgraceful abandonment” of Gasper’s hometown of Linden, the former party member said he had campaigned “hard” for the coalition when it came close to the March 2020 elections, hoping that with another term, frustrations on the ground would be adequately addressed and the shortcomings in governance rectified.
“This too was not to be,” Gasper wrote, “The party suffered a devastating defeat at those elections fair and square but chose to instead revert to its old Gestapo tactics of attempting to rig the results in its favour, dragging our hard-won democracy through the gutters for five long months. Throughout this period, the membership was blatantly lied to, in a web of deception and manipulation without any transparent access to the Statement of Polls, which would have certainly proved otherwise, had they been revealed.”
He continued, “It was indeed an unbearably frightening experience that after 23 years in opposition, the PNCR under the coalition banner was barefacedly seeking to rig the elections in full view of Guyanese and the rest of the world.”
Not surprising, Gasper added, “Even as the country reflects this week on the events of the protracted elections, the opposition Members of Parliament (MP) engaged in the most distasteful tactics to derail the passage of this year’s budget by openly trampling on established parliamentary protocols and out rightly disrespecting the Speaker of the House.”
It is for the reasons stated above that Gasper submitted his letter of resignation to the PNCR with immediate effect.
Notably, Gasper would be the fifth coalition Executive that has since resigned following the events of the March 2020 elections. Just last month, Kaieteur News reported that an AFC Executive, Joel Edmond, had issued his resignation citing that the party had “lost its way.” Prior to Edmond’s resignation, the coalition saw resignations from former AFC Members, Reynard Ward, Vladimir Glasgow, and Leonard Craig.
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