No-confidence vote…National Assembly Clerk denies hearing threats, indecent language by MPs

Former AFC MP, Charrandas Persaud

As he broke tide and delivered the proverbial nail in the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change’s (APNU/AFC) coffin, parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud’s life was threatened twice; he was hit by both colleagues flanking him as well as received many explicit comments within a five-minute period.

This was all done while the National Assembly broadcasted the sitting live on its website. The video is still up on the Parliament website showing clearly what transpired. Persaud received the hostile treatment from his colleagues after he voted his conscience and sided with the Opposition People’s Progressive Party’s motion of no-confidence against the Government, of which he is a part.

Member of Parliament, Charrandas Persaud

During the final part of the 03h:51m:04s video, during the second part of the debate, when Persaud delivered his first “yes”, all hell broke loose. He received the first punch on his left arm, at 03h:33m:04s in the video, by an APNU MP who insisted that Persaud “can’t vote against the Government.” This was followed by a series of expletives by the same MP and surprisingly Persaud received another punch from another APNU MP at 03h:32m:28s in the video.

Then came the issue of death threats to Persaud. If one listens to the video, you would find that at 03h:33m:04s and 03h:35m:35s in the video, he receives the threats “Charrandass you gon dead tonight” and “Charandass you want dead tonight” respectively. It sounded as though the threats came from a female MP on the Government side of the benches.

Following these discoveries that unfolded in the House, <<<<Inews>>>>> contacted the Clerk of the National Assembly, who denied any knowledge of such incidents.

Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs

“I am now hearing about this. I am not aware. I was busy doing the division so I did not hear anyone cursing. I did not see anyone hit Mr Persaud,” he said.

Isaacs said that if Persaud was assaulted then he should report the matter to the Guyana Police Force since it is an issue for them to deal with. Additionally, he indicated that Speaker Barton Scotland would be the one to deal with the issue of indecent language in the House.

Despite being accused of being a traitor, Persaud maintained that it was a vote of conscience since he is disappointed in the direction his party is heading. He pointed to the recent statements made by People’s National Congress (PNC) Chairperson Volda Lawrence during which she indicated that she only has friends in the PNC and jobs will be made available for them.

That statement, he said, infuriated him, prompting him write a letter to the AFC’s Executive to make a statement but the party’s leader Raphael Trotman came out in her defence after which she apologised.


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