A Corentyne Pastor is accusing the Alliance For Change (AFC) of using him as a scapegoat in the run-up to Local Government Elections (LGE) and is now asking him to be silent, but the Pastor says he can’t be muzzled because the purported action of the party has resulted in him fooling his entire congregation.
Pastor Lieon Benjamin said that he was the AFC’s candidate for Constituency Number 1 in the Good Hope/ Number 51 Neighbourhood democratic Council (NDC).
After he received all the required signatures and the documents were signed and submitted to one of the party’s officials, the top sheet which contained his name, photograph and signature was reportedly changed.
According to Benjamin not only was he not consulted, he only became aware that he was not the Candidate when Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) released the names of candidates contesting the November 12, LGE.
According to Benjamin he had given his documents to Kumar Bridgelall who is a close associate of Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan.
The Party executives reportedly approved the list of all five candidates which Bridgelall had submitted for the AFC executive.
However, when GECOM published the names of candidates it was changed.
Pastor Benjamin said that he had got members of his congregation and villagers to support him and now they are accusing him of tricking them.
Murriel Brusch whose name appears at number one on the list told this publication that she is supporting the document as a backer supporting Benjamin.
She says she does not support Isradi Ramdehal whose name appears as the AFC candidate for Constituency Number 1.
“I feel bad about it. I am supporting Lieon Benjamin.”
Benjamin told this publication that several top officials from the party have telephoned him asking for him not to go to the media.
“I can’t do that because the people in the village who I went to, believe that it is I who tricked them,” he said.
According to Benjamin, he signed on the Candidates form and got twenty-two backers.
“I gave it to Mr Bridgelall who took it to Georgetown and it was confirmed that everything was okay. When it came back I don’t know what happened but from then on we don’t know what transpired.”
He said the persons who had given their signatures were backing him and not necessarily the AFC.
“Because I am the pastor in the area and they were looking for someone in the area who could have done certain things for them. We have some trenches in the area that have bushes for years and the last person that was there did nothing so they thought that I was the fittest person to represent them,” he added.
Bemjamin said he has asked some of his supporters to work with the candidate that was submitted to GECOM but some are now angry.