…former AFC MP now a PPP/C candidate in Linden
As the race heats up for Local Government Elections (LGE) 2023 set for June 12, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has released lists of its candidates in Georgetown and Linden, two Town Councils the governing party is looking to make major gains in at the local level.
The Proportional Representation (PR) candidate list for Georgetown featured a number of prominent names. Former Georgetown Mayor and People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) candidate Patricia Chase-Green, who was on hand when the PPP/C presented its list of candidates on Nomination Day last month, will be contesting in Georgetown under the PR system.
So too will businessman and former cricketer Steven Jacobs, who was also with the party on Nomination Day. Another sports personality, national footballer Jeremy Garrett, will also be a PR candidate for the PPP/C in Georgetown.
Well-known political activist Don Singh, who is the son of the first-ever General Secretary of the People’s National Congress (PNC) Jai Narine Singh, was also unveiled as a PPP/C candidate for Georgetown on the PR list. Mikhail DaSilva, the son of Attorney-at-Law Bernard DaSilva, was also listed as a PR candidate.
Over in Linden, where the PPP/C won just one of 16 council seats in 2018, the party also unveiled a list of 24 candidates. One notable inclusion on the list is former Alliance For Change (AFC) Member of Parliament Audwin Rutherford.
Rutherford, who resigned from the party in October 2020, was among the exodus of senior AFC members who left the party citing their disillusionment. According to the former MP, the AFC had lost its independent voice and with it, its principles.
“I would have joined the party shortly after its formation because the party principles and vision coincided with mine. I was comfortable with my decision then as I am comfortable with my decision now. This decision is after much consultation with my family and friends, who all fully understand,” Rutherford had written.
“The AFC seems to have no independent (voice) – the party has lost its way and seems comfortable being subservient to PNCR. This attitude is particularly pronounced in Region 10,” he had added.
Also, on PPP/C’s Linden list of candidates is Keith Ferrier, who was a prominent figure in the storm Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton faced earlier this year after he disowned him in a statement, despite the two having grown up together.
The issue arose when PPP/C General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo was delivering remarks at the 105th birth anniversary commemoration of party founder Dr Chedi Jagan, hosted by the party at Babu Jaan, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), where Dr Jagan’s life and work were celebrated.
During his remarks, Jagdeo had highlighted Ferrier among the thousands of attendees as a relative of Norton, the Leader of the PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Opposition.
At the time, Ferrier stood up amongst the massive gathering to confirm his presence.
After the event, however, Norton issued a statement in which he attempted to distance himself from Ferrier.
However, while Jagdeo himself had described Ferrier as merely a relative of Norton, the Opposition Leader parsed his statement narrowly to state that “The man [Jagdeo] referred to is not my brother… Keith Ferrier is neither my mother’s or my father’s child.”
It was subsequently brought to light, however, that Norton and Ferrier were brought up together. A screenshot of a message sent by Ferrier, which contained a childhood photo of the two men, circulated on social media.
In the message, Ferrier explained that the ‘old family picture’ is of himself and his siblings with Norton also in the photo. Ferrier said his mother “mine (took care of) that guy” in reference to Norton. He also went onto say “…I know that Aubrey Norton is all about Aubrey Norton. He does not have this nation interest at heart…”