Charrandas Persaud’s account and others paint a picture of possible willful collusion with the very PPP he campaigned against
Dear Editor, In order not to add fuel to the fire that rose up after the Charrandas Persaud no confidence vote, I chose to remain silent on a few things that have been in the public domain, including commentary on my own actions. Considering however that certain misrepresentations are being repeated as record, staying silent is no longer an option.
I have publicly addressed and apologized for my reactive outburst in uttering an expletive in the National Assembly. This was clearly out of character with my usual conduct and an emotional response to the betrayal from a trusted colleague who I’ve spent the past three and a half years with, including during the recent budget debate, defending the policies of this administration.
I’ve had time during the past week to try to understand Charrandas’ motivation for what he did and his justifications offered and none of it seems to make sense. On a personal level, two things he has said so far have struck me personally. The first is the claim that I assaulted him and that his ribs still hurt from my elbowing him. The very video that he referred persons to shows me nudging him with the back of my hand to get his attention in the wake of the shock of his vote, not elbowing him. Why would someone, in justifying a vote of conscience and speaking about his own integrity, engage in such an easily disproved untruth to support his case? The other issue that hit on a personal level was that in his telling of this fiction, Charrandas, my coalition political and parliamentary colleague of three and a half years, referred to me as simply “that Rasta boy from Linden.”
For me, these things don’t square with the character of integrity that he has been painting himself as, and there are other examples. There was his claim that he wrote to Alliance For Change leader, Raphael Trotman to protest his displeasure at certain actions. When Mr. Trotman refuted those claims, he changed his story to say that he spoke to Trotman and was ignored. The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Sherlock Isaacs, himself had to correct claims of bias alleged against him by Charrandas in a recent letter to the newspaper.
Perhaps most importantly however is that his own words in Parliament defending the recent budget made the sort of sense that his subsequent claims don’t. He spoke forcefully, for example, about the capital expenditure in Berbice, the permanent improvement of roads that the PPP would plug billions into and which still would need fixing. He spoke about the severance payment to sugar workers in an industry that the PPP crippled and then left the burden on the APNU+AFC to fix.
I find it difficult therefore to believe that the web of misinformation that my former colleague has afterward tried to spread is only incidental to the web of disinformation that is being spread by the opposition and their aligned media. For example, just as Clerk Isaacs had to correct Charrandas, he was also forced to correct a story carried in the Jagdeo-controlled Guyana Times.
This brings me to the overlooked aspect of Charrandas’ narrative about the circumstances surrounding his support of the PPP’s no confidence motion. If one were to listen to his and complementary accounts of his conscience narrative, and factor in the events of that fateful night a week ago, we see a picture of possible willful collusion with the very PPP that he campaigned against. From the supposed conversation with Freddie Kissoon earlier this year, to his own indication that he was long contemplating voting against the administration, it appears that he was long privy to a PPP no confidence motion before it was even tabled or announced in November of this year. This combined with his claim that he trusted no one, including his long- time friend Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, with his security but yet was handled by a PPP member from the moment he left Parliament to the moment he left the country shows that his trust was placed somewhere.
What neither Charrandas and the PPP leadership, Mr. Jagdeo in particular, have been asked is whether there was coordination between the AFC member and the PPP opposition. Did Jagdeo go into Parliament knowing fully well that his motion would find the support of Charrandas specifically and if there was this coordination, what was the basis of it, and how long ago was it planned?
This is a question that, for all his noble claims of good conscience, the man has – even in the midst of all his deliberate misrepresentation – refused to even address, much less deny.
It is quite evident Editor that Mr Persaud is pathologically mendacious and probably someday his conscience will force him to give a full and proper account of this missing aspect of his story. Yours faithfully, Jermaine Figueira APNU+AFC Member of Parliament.