In light of the charges of domestic violence brought against Chairman of Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) executive member, Daniel Seeram, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, has called out the selective activism of several civil society groups, demonstrated in their silence regarding this issue.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference held at Freedom House on Thursday, the general secretary said that the government has remained cautious in its response to the issue, to avoid providing ammunition for the chairman to mislead the public.
“We’ve been very careful about how we intervene. If we had called for the resignation right at the beginning, they would’ve said we were trying to influence the outcome of the court case. He would use our statement to get the kool-aiders to say that the PPP wants to get rid of him. He’ll use it as an excuse, so sometimes we are very tactical about these issues. We don’t want the kool-aiders who will believe anything to start justifying him and supporting him,” the GS pointed out.
Seeram is accused of assaulting and causing actual bodily harm to his wife.
Dr Jagdeo pointed out that this is not the first time Seeram has been involved with allegations of this nature. Last year, the former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) captain appeared before the court for a charge of threatening behaviour allegedly committed against his father-in-law, Shaheed Hamid.
The General Secretary lamented, “It seems as though, in this country, a group of people who have very limited credibility; the red thread, the GHRA, etc, I don’t see them protesting in front of his office or his home. But you will recall the issue with Dharamlall. He hadn’t been charged, but they were out there protesting and issuing statements,” he said.
He made it clear that the government believes that persons guilty of these crimes should face the full brunt of the law.
“The same applies to this case, but we have to be cautious about not politicising. Because he is an opposition figure, we did not want to make this seem a political issue. But where are the red thread and the GHRA now? I guess they will come out with statements, now that Norton has spoken, because their party leader has spoken. And I guess TIGI will also come out with a statement,” GS Jagdeo predicted. (DPI)