[www.inewsguyana.com] – It can be described as the closest thing Guyanese will get to a Presidential debate between incumbent President Donald Ramotar and Presidential Candidate for the APNU+AFC coalition, Brigadier David Granger.
The two were interviewed separately by host of the popular radio programme, Hard Talk, Chris Chapwanya, mere days before the electorate goes to the polls.
The programme is slated to be aired on Sunday, May 03 on 90.1 Love FM, with the first interview set to commence at 10:00 hrs with Ramotar and Granger at 13:00hrs.
During an interview with iNews, Chapwanya gave an insight into some of the topics discussed with Ramotar, including the controversial issue of former Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran.
According to Chapwanya, the President said he felt “sorry” for Ramsarran, after a recording went viral of him verbally insulting women’s rights activist, Sherlina Nageer. As a result of public pressure from Guyanese and the international community, the President relieved Ramsaran of his duties.
“The President said Bheri is a nice boy and he feels sorry for Bheri and he also feels that Bheri was entrapped…so I then asked him if he felt that Bheri was entrapped on the first occasion when he was provoked then what accounts for the second occasion? Because he wasn’t provoked or anything then…he [President] went back to the line that Bheri was entrapped.”
The President also told Chapwanya that Dr Ramsaran was fired weeks after his ‘strip and slap’ comments because he [President] was busy on the campaign trail and could not fire him over the phone.
“We touched on a number of issues, the NCN scandal, corruption, the talk out there about Jagdeo being the one pulling the strings behind the Presidency, the controversial remarks that Jagdeo is making on the campaign trail, the accusation that the PNC which is really the APNU+AFC is militarizing the opposition. We touched on some of Mr. Ramotar’s conduct, the incident in which he told the Amerindian guy that if Jagdeo was there he would have slapped him, the Anil Nandlall issue and he also give some indication of what the PPP intends to do post May 11.”
As it relates to the interview with Mr. Granger, Chapwanya noted that he [Granger] was unable to, “effectively outline how the Opposition intends to pay for all these goodies they are promising, increase in salaries, old age pension and so because I kept pressing him on that but the only explanation he has for paying for it is that a lot of money is being lost through corruption slush funds, so I then asked him if he knows exactly how much money is being lost, he couldn’t say how much; so I then asked him he doesn’t know how much money is being lost how then can they come up with precise figures for salary increases and so on, but no conclusive answer on that.”
The APNU+AFC say if they are elected to office post may 11, the toll to cross the Berbice River Bridge will be reduced. This was raised with Mr. Granger who stated that an APNU+AFC government would look to change the laws of the country that would then enable them to drop the rates. [Tracey Khan – Drakes]