Jagdeo says he is prepared to debate Granger on ethnic relations

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…says Afro-Guyanese were better off under PPP Government

Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo is absolutely certain that Afro-Guyanese were better off under the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) rule compared to the A Partnership for National Uunity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Administration and as such, is prepared to debate President David Granger on this openly.

(File photo) Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and President David Granger during a previous engagement

“I can debate with …President Granger about several things. One, about hiring practices in the country. I can talk to him about race relations. I’m prepared to debate race relations and who have contributed to this country, which party has contributed to worsening race relations in Guyana. I can talk to him about this fallacy- I’m prepared to debate the fallacy and the myth that they keep perpetuating that they’ve done more for Afro-Guyanese than the People’s Progressive Party (PPP),” he told media operatives today during a press conference at his Church Street, Georgetown office.

According to Jagdeo, he is prepared to match the record of the People’s National Congress (PNC) –the party which Granger is affiliated with for over 50 years- from 1964 to 1992 and 2015 to present with that of the PPP’s 23 years in office.

“He said he’s been in the PNC for over 50 years. I’m prepared to match the record of the PNC from ’64 to ’92 and then from 2015 to now, against the PPP’s 23 years in office on several practices, access to well black owned businesses, etc. and I’m sure you will see a pattern where Afro-Guyanese have fared better in that period under the PPP than ever under PNC rule and I’m prepared to debate that openly, publicly, using records to destroy this myth” he asserted.

Addressing allegations advanced by proponents of the incumbent Administration that 400 Afro-Guyanese, of which a list was provided, were killed under the PPP Administration, Jadgeo said that this is another myth.

He posited that the list was “spurious,” and also told this publication that if one examines it “you will see the policemen and the soldiers killed by the bandits, who were on that list. You will see the bandits themselves including Fine Man and all the others on that list itself. You will see Indo-Guyanese names on the list, a large number of them. You’ll see almost everybody, victims, perpetrators, policeman, everybody on that list of 400 and they publish it shamelessly because they thrive on the myth, the lies that people will not examine that list and if anyone has, I would just urge the media itself, and you will see, disaggregate the names, go after the names one by one and you will see the lies they are peddling.”

Ever since the coalition Administration took power in 2015, there have been many claims advanced by Afro-Guyanese supporters of the PPP that they are being discriminated against and even targeted by Government- especially those who worked within the regime.

In fact, former Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon has been recorded in the media highlighting issues where a number of Government employees were being targeted because of their ethnicity and political affiliations.

PPP’s Executive member Dr Roger Luncheon

“We have made this point that black members of the People’s Progressive Party…are unusually exposed and treated to the rampant discrimination of this Granger administration. It’s historical. In the olden days in the PNC, it happened and in the more modern days under the name of the APNU and the coalition, it continues…Black members of the People’s Progressive Party Civic, who are employed working in the government service, are unusually targeted by this administration,” Dr Luncheon had said.

He noted that the issue was brought to the attention of the administration and “particular Ministers in the administration” while outlining that “the silence is deafening.”

Dr Luncheon also criticized civil society for staying silent on the issue, noting that Guyanese are condoning the actions of the APNU-AFC Administration by not speaking out against what he described as a “travesty.”

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