Jagdeo calls out “shameful” APNU over admission of front groups contesting LGE

General Secretary of the PPP/C Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, has warned Guyanese to be on the lookout for front organisations contracted by PNC-lead A Partnership for National Unity to contest the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE).

During a press conference on Thursday, PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo said that APNU’s facade has come to an end after the PNC-led Opposition party admitted that it has mounted several front organisations, particularly in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) to contest the local government polls.

At an earlier press conference hosted by the Opposition, PNC Executive, and Opposition Member of Parliament, Ganesh Mahipaul said that the APNU is backing several of the independent groups that are contesting the LGE.

“I know that there are many groups that are contesting independently that enjoy the confidence of the APNU because the characters in those groups we know them to be honest and decent people,” he said.

Among the areas where these independent groups will be contesting are: the Mora/Parika Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) with a sucker tree symbol; Hauge/Blankenburg NDC with a light bulb symbol; Malgre Tout/Meer Zorgen NDC with an eagle symbol, and the Toevlugt/Patentia NDC with a sugarcane and cutlass symbol.

“These are groups that asked us in het APNU not to contest in these respective areas because they would like to do it independently… We have no problem with people voting [for] them because the characters there are honest and decent people,” Mahipaul stated.

The PPP has long been warning against the PNC-led Opposition using these independent groups as a front to contest certain local government areas where they are unpopular and would not garner good results at the upcoming polls.

According to Jagdeo at Thursday’s press conference, the PNC-led APNU is ashamed to contest in these communities hence they are using these independent groups as front organisations.

“So, if you live in the area, APNU is ashamed to come in that form – the PNC, because of their track record… So, if you vote for them, you’re voting for the PNC.”

“So, don’t be misled if you’re in these communities. The PNC is coming in disguise, the APNU is coming in disguise… All this façade that they were creating that they were independent groups, now we see that [they’re in fact] APNU’s groups there. They were ashamed to go in the form of APNU in these communities so, they’re trying to mislead the residents in those areas. It’s a shameful thing,” he posited.

Jagdeo further urged the electorate to be wary of the APNU attempts to mislead and lie to them.

This, he noted, is reflected in the utterances by several APNU members to persons in Georgetown. They have been going around telling the street vendors that the PPP will remove them and will increase rates and taxes in the city, among other things – all of which the party’s General Secretary dismissed.

He noted that the PPP has already addressed the vendor’s issue and further reassured them that their means of livelihood will not be hindered. Similarly, he assured that there will be no increase in taxes at any of the PPP-controlled municipalities across the country.

But the PPP General Secretary reminded that under the previous APNU+AFC Government, a $335 million contract was signed with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and Axilogic Inc. to update the property inventory and valuation systems across local democratic organs in Guyana, starting in the New Amsterdam township.

Jagdeo said the only reason this initiative was not implemented was because the PPP filed a No-Confidence Motion against the Coalition regime in November 2018 – soon after winning the majority if the Local Authority Areas at the LGE earlier that month.

“We’re the only party that contested the 2018 [Local Government] Elections and said we’re not raising rates, and we’re doing so again. It’s a lie – we have no plans to increase rates,” the PPP General Secretary stated.

“I hope people by now get the drift that APNU will come up with a lot of lies… I want to urge all of those who are looking [both] supporters of PPP and APNU …that we should not be fooled again. We’re carrying a respectful message to all of these communities.”

On this note, Jagdeo highlighted that the PNC-led APNU has been exciting fears in residents from the major towns – Georgetown, New Amsterdam, and Linden – because they are not getting the traditional reception in those municipalities, which are usually PNC-controlled.

During the early stages of the LGE campaign, Jagdeo had declared that the PPP wants to take over reigns in those Opposition stronghold municipalities.

“They have to step up on this campaign of fear [as] they have nothing positive to say to people because they been there all these years and couldn’t do anything for people and neglected their communities too. So, the fear element is the only way they hope will drive the voters out and they know that it worked well in the past so they’re busy inventing their lies,” Jagdeo stated.