The PPP/C has declared its intention to file a complaint with the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) for perceived threats against its supporters by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
During a press conference held this morning at his Office, Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, lambasted Minister Harmon for remarks made at a “love and unity rally” held in Sophia over the weekend.
At this rally, Harmon reportedly took aim at PPP/C-controlled Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and the party’s supporters. He accused them of sabotaging the Government’s agenda. Harmon reportedly further promised a crackdown on those who undermine the administration.
According to Jagdeo, this attack on PPP supporters is simply a justification for the coalition’s recent losses at the Local Government Election (LGE) held on November 12. Results from the LGE indicate a 36 percent turnout across Guyana and showed that the PPP/C picked up 386 of the 596 proportional representation seats countrywide, against 188 picked up by APNU.
“That threat Harmon made to PPP supporters cannot go unanswered. We intend to pursue it through every means possible,” Jagdeo emphasised.
According to Jagdeo, Harmon’s attacks are “pathetic” and misdirected and the blame, he said, actually rests at the feet of the administration. Noting, for example, the responsibility of REOs in administering budgets for the regions, Jagdeo said that the APNU/AFC Coalition has removed “technically qualified” persons and replaced them with “party hacks” who are unable to adequately execute their roles.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not the PPP-controlled RDCs but the REOs, the people they [the Government] control and put in place,” Jagdeo said.
Further, the Opposition Leader said the overseers in the regions oftentimes take orders directly from the region and Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan. He added that the minister has even gone so far as to approve the budgets of the NDCs and many NDCs, he claimed, did not receive approval until October. He also accused the government of having its councilors sanctioning the disruption of RDC meetings, such as in Region 5, thereby stopping the progress and works of these bodies.
Jagdeo also called out the administration for what he believes is their incompetence, bullyism, and corruption “at every level, not just the national level but the regional level”.
Speaking more on the ERC complaint, he said the complaint will be filed within the coming days on the basis of the “incendiary nature of Harmon’s remarks” that have possible ethnic and political consequences. He said too that the entire rally was laced with racism and the party therefore wanted the ERC to have a full investigation on the matter.
Also, Jagdeo indicted that the PPP plans to draw the matter to the attention of the international community.