Controversial comments made by PNC/R Chair must be condemned- Opposition leader

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Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party Dr Bharrat Jagdeo says that all Guyanese along with human rights groups should join in condemning comments attributed to People’s National Congress/ Reform (PNC/R) Chairperson Volda Lawrence who spoke at Congress Place during a District Convention on Wednesday night.

The former President said her comments and that of other A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) leaders having been including undertones of racism.

Lawrence was quoted in the media as saying, among other things, that her party should place more focus on providing jobs for friends and party supporters as she would only give jobs to friends which can only be found in the PNC.

Minister for Public Health Volda Lawrence

“The only friends I got is PNC so the only people I gon give wuk to is PNC and right now I looking for a doctor who can talk Spanish or Portuguese and ah want one that is PNC,” Lawrence who is also the Public Health Minister of the coalition Government, was quoted as saying.

In this regard, Jagdeo said she can be charged for violating labour regulations which speak to non-discrimination in hiring practices. He added that he is hopeful that she will be privately charged for her comments as he hinted the PPP could file another complaint with the Ethnic Relations Committee (ERC).    

“We have been filing quite a few complaints but I think maybe we will, I will have to discuss it but why do we, why does the PPP have to fight for everything here , I haven’t seen the human right bodies, I haven’t seen any of those groups who used to be on their case all the time” he questioned.

Lawrence in her defence, issued a statement on Wednesday, affirming that she stands by her views that were made in regards to jobs and opportunities.

Among other things she said that “Comrades must educate and position themselves to be in the 20% bracket that will be afforded Government contracts. Cde. Lawrence also stands by her views that we must become bi-lingual as the world is now smaller and Guyana fast becoming a haven to people from countries near and far. Cde. Lawrence emphasizes that if the Coalition wants to remain in power after 2020 we must take better care of all Guyanese.”

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