By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Presidents, Donald Ramotar and Bharrat Jagdeo along with former government ministers and Party members of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) came out in a “show of unity” at a press conference on Friday, May 22 at Freedom House, promising to take their issues with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to regional and international organisations.
As the PPP continues to maintain that it was cheated at the just concluded general elections, which resulted in the APNU+AFC coalition removing them from government after 23 years, Ramotar told the news conference that the leadership of the PPP is yet to decide on its “attitude” towards the new government.
According to the former President, the David Granger led administration does not reflect the “will” of the people, therefore the PPP is yet to determine what role it will play in the life of the 11th Parliament.
The main Opposition remains steadfast in its allegation that the May 11 elections were rigged by GECOM, thus their calls for the Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally to resign. The Party says some 30 regional and international organisations will be made aware of GECOM’s alleged wrongdoings.
This is despite the fact that all regional, local and international observers deeming the elections free, fair and credible; but the PPP now says the observers did not pay attention to where the alleged rigging took place “and that is the GECOM machinery,” according to Ramotar.
Ramotar, who had questioned the integrity of the observers a few days after the elections, now says that they [observers] gave the electoral process a clean bill of health before the verification process.
Expressing similar views was former President Jagdeo, who told the news conference that GECOM is yet to provide the PPP with “box by box” results of the elections.
He alleged that this delay might be due to GECOM “attempting to make changes.” He reiterated that substantial evidence is being gathered to file an elections petition.
According to Jagdeo, the PPP will continue to mobilize its supporters to inform them about the “cheating.”
“They must know they have a government today that is formed not on the basis of the free expression of the will of the people of this country but that they have been cheated…we plan to internationalise this issue, to go to every corner of the world so that everywhere a government official shows up from this country, people would know that this government official does not represent the will of the people of Guyana,” Jagdeo told reporters.
Distances self from Ramsammy
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Party has distanced itself from claims made by its member, former Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy that international players assisted in rigging the elections because they wanted to get their hands on Guyana’s oil, which was recently discovered by ExxonMobil.
When asked about this, Ramotar said, “As far as I’m aware, Leslie was writing in his personal capacity. He was not writing on behalf of the PPP.”
Adding his view on the issue, Jagdeo chided the media for making Ramsammy’s view that of the PPP.
“It’s interesting to see how they can elevate a person’s Facebook posting to the position of the political party and the media has done this,” Jagdeo said.
In an article headlined, “Is oil now reason for rigged elections?” and posted on his Facebook page, Dr Ramsammy pointed out that in the vulgar haste to produce an early result Guyana may have been gifted, “with another government born out of fraud and rigging.”