By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The incumbent Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) maintains that there is a link between Guyana’s Political Opposition and criminal elements while at the same time disassociating itself from such activities.
The party says the recent revelations that Suriname’s President, Desi Bouterse (while an opposition Member of Parliament) was allegedly in close contact with convicted Guyanese drug baron, Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan which now places the spotlight on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the People National Congress (PNC) and Bouterse’s National Democratic Party on June 13, 2004 reiterates its position.
The report has opened a can of political worms about the extent of the PNC opposition collaboration with Bouterse, since the same report says his son supplied high-powered weapons to criminal elements holed up in Buxton during the 2002-2006 crime wave sprees.
PPP’s Central Committee Member and Attorney General Anil Nandlall during the party’s weekly press conference on Monday September 23 told reporters that the PPP “maintains resolutely that there is a connection between criminals and politicians….political leaders in the opposition.”
Nandlall in making his point recalled the funeral of criminal mastermind Linden London aka “blackie” which was taken over by the PNC, resulting in the draping of his coffin with the national flag.
He said however, whether these revelations would affect the current good relations the two countries share in border security and trade among others, will need to be discussed at the Governmental level.
When questioned whether it was fair to associate the political opposition alone with criminal elements, the PPP’s General Secretary Clement Rohee in his response said, “We have no historical link with criminal enterprises,” adding that “the PPP supporters are mostly the victims of the onslaught.”
Rohee called on the Opposition to move away from its approach of placing blame on the PPP whenever evidence is provided that links the opposition with criminals.
He said the PPP continues to make efforts to disassociate itself from terrorist activity.
“The PPP has a clean track record… I would dismiss out of hand any attempt to associate the PPP with any criminal activity” he said.
He concluded that attempts to associate the PPP with criminal elements are only speculations. According to the Dutch publication NRC Handelsblad, a diplomatic message to the US State Department released by Wikileaks accuse Bouterse’s son Dino of being involved in weapons smuggling between Guyana and Suriname.
The Diplomatic note states that Dino Bouterse had travelled with a sports team to Buxton and it was believed that weapons were taken to the Guyanese village of Buxton at that time.
During that time, the East Coast of Demerara village of Buxton was under the control of criminal elements linked to the PNC party now the main player in the main opposition APNU. APNU Head David Granger is also the Leader of the PNC.