PPP raises concerns over Ferguson address to police ranks

APNU/AFC MP Annette Ferguson

PPP raises concerns over Ferguson address to police ranks

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic is calling on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to look into an engagement held by Junior Minister with responsibility for Housing, Annette Ferguson, with ranks of the Guyana Police Force on Thursday (February 20, 2020).

The party noted that the contents of Minister Ferguson’s address to the ranks, who were scheduled to cast their ballots the following day, represents an inducement which is a serious violation of Guyana’s  electoral laws, the GECOM elections code of conduct, an abuse of power by the Minister and also a form of intimidation.

“Her speech contained numerous lies and was clearly intended to disparage the PPP/C, more so, its successful housing program, while placing the coalition as the savior of police ranks,” the party said.

Minister Ferguson was quoted saying, “the prospects for the housing sector will be great when we return to government, but the only way you will be able to benefit… you have to ensure that we return to government. So tomorrow I know that many of you got a date, that is a special date… Right so either we go forward or backward. All I want to say to ya’ll is don’t stop the progress… So tomorrow you go there and mark your x well for us.”

In addition, she also declared, “I’m here representing the government so you got to vote for the government’’.

According to the PPP, this meeting could not have taken place without the approval of senior police ranks and this is evidenced by the presence of an ‘Officer Forde’ who can be heard demanding that ranks put away their cell phones and later instructing them to vote for the governing APNU+AFC Coalition.

To this end, the party is calling on the Chairperson of GECOM, (ret’d) Justice Claudette Singh, local and international observers and all other relevant stakeholders to take note of the incident.

“This incident is the latest in a number of such where we have seen the indecent and dishonest display of power, abuse of taxpayers’ dollars, corruption and disrespect for our constitution, electoral and other laws by the David Granger led APNU+AFC government. The party calls for this matter to be thoroughly investigated and the Minister to be held responsible for inducement,” PPP urged.

Only earlier this month, Minister Ferguson was seen campaigning at a burial service somewhere in the Pomeroon-Supenaam Region.

While the video had caused outraged on social media, it also became the source of comedic jabs since the Minister had to be corrected twice after she called the deceased by the wrong name.