By Radha Motielall
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo is of the view that the Opposition is using Christopher Ram to muzzle him.
He believes that the effort is aimed at intimidating him to the point where he will stop appearing on the PPP/C campaign stage. He however made it clear that he has every intention of continuing to speak in favour of the PPP/C and against its challenger, APNU+AFC as they battle it out to May 11, 2015.
Jagdeo is facing a private criminal charge of uttering racially divisive remarks, filed against him by political commentator, Christopher Ram.
The case has since been postponed to May 25, to allow for the complainant’s lawyers to respond to arguments filed by Jagdeo’s lawyer, Senior Counsel Bernard DeSantos, who contended that the service was not “effected”; meaning Jagdeo was not served with the summons.
The charge required the former Guyanese leader to personally appear in court to plead guilty or not guilty. Referring to the case at his Wednesday media conference, Jagdeo said: “I was told that the case is frivolous”.
Given the fact that the case is now postponed to May 25, past the May 11 Elections date, Jagdeo remains free of its ruling to continue to speak his mind at public gatherings.
The charges against Jagdeo stemmed from remarks he made at Babu John, Port Mourant in March at the commemorative event for late Presidents Cheddi and Janet Jagan.
The former President had said, “The Opposition consistently shout about the racism of the PPP but they practice racism. The opposition beat drums at six in the morning and say let us throw out those coolie people.”
And before the media on Wednesday, he admitted that he tends to say things “others might be reluctant to say”.
Meanwhile, he also stated that he has no confidence in the Media Monitoring Unit (MMU).
“I have absolutely no confidence in this MMU, unless the MMU reports to GECOM, because it is GECOM that receives the funding for the MMU. GECOM must be able to have oversight of the MMU”.
It was the MMU which reported that the statement by Jagdeo at Babu John was “racially divisive”, which led Ram filing the case against him at Whim.