By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo has sounded a strong appeal to the disciplined services to remember that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has always been their biggest supporter.
During his address to thousands at the Party’s rally in Stewartville, West Coast Demerara on Sunday, April 26, the former President reminded the Army of the hardships they endured under the governance of the People’s National Congress (PNC).
As the disciplined services get set to vote on May 2, Jagdeo pointed out that there has been a major attempt to capture the hearts and minds of soldiers by the inclusion of ex – military people in the Opposition coalition – APNU+AFC.
“And I say to the soldiers and policemen…you sit down and decide who had always supported you. In 1990…the entire capital budget for the whole Army was $300,000. In 1991 that budget was $675,000 for the whole Army to buy equipment…in 1992 it was $6M.
In his appeal, he urged the servicemen not to listen to the “rhetoric” of the Opposition.
“How can they say they love you today and treated you with so much disdain? Soliders didn’t have enough to eat in the military, they didn’t have equipment, didn’t have clothing to wear.
“I say to the Army, I say to the policemen, do not listen to their rhetoric because they are trying to play on your fear. They want when they come on the streets, the soldiers and policemen will stay quiet, they wouldn’t do anything, they wouldn’t perform their duties.”
International Observers urged to be vigilant
Meanwhile, Jagdeo also urged the international observers in Guyana for the May 11 elections to be vigilant at all polling stations, alleging that ballot boxes were “stuffed” in some places during the 2011 elections.
“We know what happen in 2011. In some of the villages, where they threw our polling agents out or where we didn’t have polling agents, the vote went up from an average of 74% to 95%. They stuffed the boxes in those areas. We have to guard against that happening again,” Jagdeo noted.
“And we know they often try to invade the polling stations in some areas in the afternoon…as soon as it starts to turn dark, they will make an attempt, some of them, to get into the polling stations to create confusion. The observers have to pay attention to that… because they will spare no means to try to win political power.”
Additionally, the former President urged the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to publish every instruction given to presiding officers “so that they do not act capriciously and if they do, GECOM must publish in the newspapers the penalties and jail term associated with tampering with the poll.”
“We need the observers to be vigilany; we need the military and the police to understand the mind games that is being played by APNU and the others,” Jagdeo said.
The former President also reminded the Party’s supporters of what took place in Agricola, East Bank Demerara on October 12, 2012. According to him, the night before, the Alliance For Change gave President Donald Ramotar an ultimatum to remove Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee and if not “you’re gonna see the consequences.”
“And guess what were the consequences. They blocked the road at Agricola. Do you remember that people of Region 3? And many of you will remember it because your mothers and sisters and children were over there. They couldn’t get back home and many of you personally were there. They brought thugs on the streets. Pull people from the vehicles, beat them up, broke up the vehicles; dragged some women out, feel them up, babies were crying.”
According to Jagdeo, the Party nor the people of Guyana have “short memories.
“And today they talk about change? We don’t need to go back to 28 years to find examples of PNC and AFC thuggery and they count on us having short memories but we don’t have short memories.”