Young professionals, particularly women, being targeted by Govt – Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

-WPO says stage is being set to bypass DSG from being promoted to SG

The political Opposition is putting Government in the hot seat for the spate of actions taken against young professionals inherited from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration. In addition, the Party is critical of Central Government’s failure to discipline an appointed official against whom allegations have been made.

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

According to Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, the current policy has seen young professionals, particularly women, being targeted for removal based on supposed party allegiances. He made this pronouncement during a press conference at his Church Street office on Thursday.

This comes after the sidelining of Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Prithima Kissoon by her subject Minister, Attorney General Basil Williams, SC. Williams had listed her supposed loyalty to Jagdeo and the PPP as one of his reasons for the move.

However, Jagdeo stressed that in all his years in the PPP, he has never known Kissoon to be a member of the Party or even an open supporter. He made it clear that even if she was, that would be no grounds for dismissal.

“If we start doing ethnic or political testing of employees, then where will we end up in this country if we ask people what your politics are before you hire them? And it seems as though young professionals can’t find a place” said Jagdeo.

According to Jagdeo, these actions formed a visible pattern too numerous to mention. He then referenced the case of a high ranking Region Nine municipal official, who went public with complaints of sexual assault against a top regional official.

“This Government has serious problems with professionals. Particularly young professionals and particularly women. So in (Region Nine, an education official) complained about the (alleged) predatory behaviour of the (official). And it was swept under the carpet.”

“Then the (municipal official) complained that she was sexually molested by the same person. It was reported to everyone, including the Minister. The President is aware of it. They try to sweep it under the carpet again” Jagdeo declared.

Attorney General Basil Williams SC, and Deputy Solicitor General Prithima Kissoon

Meanwhile, The women’s arm of the PPP, the Women’s Progressive Organization (WPO) says its appalled at the actions of the Attorney General as he “seeks to embarrass yet another professional woman. We are referring to his public pronouncements [made] against the Deputy Solicitor General.  The information in the public domain asserts that the Solicitor General (SG) is on pre-retirement leave and Ms Pritima Kission is the person next in line to take over from her.”

The WPO is questioning whether “there is someone else in the wings waiting to fill this vacancy and whether the stage is being set to bypass her.  The Attorney General is not shy in going after professionals and he has given the signals from day one that he will do exactly as he pleases regardless of public opinion.”
According to the WPO “if this is indeed so, it sends an ominous signal to the young and not so young professionals about their future under this APNU/Coalition government”
The WPO says it denounces the Attorney General’s attack on DSG Pritima Kissoon and “his actions in prohibiting and restraining her from performing her functions.”


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