Charrandass Persaud, the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Member of Parliament (MP) who voted in favour of the no-confidence motion which saw the toppling of the then coalition Government in December 2018, said that his “self-exile” has come to an end, and hinted that he would be returning to Guyana “very soon”.
“My self-exile has come to an end; COVID is holding me down now, and so I will be returning to Guyana at some point in time. Guyana is home to me, it’s where my job is, it’s where my friends are and so some time soon,” Persaud said in a brief message on his Facebook page.
The former MP, who departed Guyana immediately for Canada on the night the coalition Government toppled, said that he had no regrets about voting the way he did as the APNU/AFC had “neglected the people who put them there”, and the coalition was finally removed from power on August 2, 2020.
“What I set out to do, August 2, 2020 came to fruition. I voted in support of the no-confidence motion to remove the PNC and the AFC-turned PNC; and they have been removed after a long 19 months,” Persaud said.
“I have been in self-exile for 19 months; I brought this upon myself. I did what I did because I wanted to do it…I have absolutely no regrets,” Persaud expressed.
He related that the APNU/AFC was defeated at the March 2 General and Regional Elections, because citizens lost confidence in their ability to govern in the nation’s interest.
The former MP noted that the APNU/AFC coalition now had five years to do “damage control” and if it did not, it “may never win another election” in Guyana.
“There is no more 28 years and no more 23 years, you may get a second term if we, the people, are satisfied with your performance, we may consider voting for you again,” he said in reference to the People’s National Congress’s (PNC’s) 28 years and the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP’s) 23 years at the helm of Government.
Turning his attention to the present PPP/Civic Administration, he encouraged leaders in the Government to look at the mistakes made by the previous coalition Administration and avoid them at all costs.
He posited that there was immediate need for electoral, constitutional, and judicial reforms to ensure that governance systems are improved in order to meet the needs of citizens.
Persaud posited that staff of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) needed to be replaced with persons who could “assume a position of neutrality”.
He added that it was quite unfortunate that in spite of all that Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield has done, he was yet to be dismissed.
Meanwhile, Persaud congratulated President Irfaan Ali and his team, whom he said are quite competent to take Guyana forward:
“I know you will do well: you are a beautiful team; you are a well-educated team; you are a powerfully- selected team. Make the Guyanese happy that is all I ask for.”
He noted that the task ahead was a “monumental” one, but he had “absolute confidence” in the leadership of President Ali and his team to make Guyana a prosperous country for all its citizens.