Other than saying, “I normally answer critics with success”, the PPP’s Presidential Candidate, Dr. Irfaan Ali, has refused to comment further on the authenticity of his academic qualifications. The former Housing Minister said that this is a normal approach that he employs to disprove the utterances of his detractors.

“I’ve already made it very clear; I’ve already addressed this issue conclusively. I normally answer critics with success. So, we will work on greater success and success at these elections to improve the lives of people,” Dr. Ali told media operatives at a press conference that was organised by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Church Street, Georgetown earlier this afternoon.

The politician came under intense criticism after allegations surfaced about his degrees not being real. He is also facing 19 fraud charges in court.

In January of this year, documents were shared with the media which suggest he may have used a fraudulent transcript to pursue a Master’s degree programme at an Indian University. Also, certificates purporting to belong to Dr. Ali were also made public, which raised several eyebrows.

Ali noted that his “real” certification, including diplomas and degrees, are already in the public domain.

The Presidential hopeful is of the belief that he made every effort to prove to the public that his qualifications are legit, however, there are many who disagree. The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the largest party in the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – which forms one-half of the governing coalition – has been using the allegation as a basis to say that Dr. Ali “cannot be trusted” with the presidency.

Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, who came to Dr. Ali’s assist, said “This issue will [still] linger, because it is being worked on by the opposing side by using the State media to spread lies and disparage our candidate. And so, you see this every single day in the State media. It stopped being impartial or even decent – forget the impartiality, just being decent because impartiality is one thing. And so, this will continue to linger because of that, not because there is any substance to it.”

Dr. Ali in turn, said “I will not be dragged into any gutter politics. I want to focus this campaign on policies and programmes. I want to be able to answer to the policies and programmes, any questions you ask in relation to those policies or programmes.”


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