President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday vowed to continue his “carrion crow” attack against sections of the media while presidential candidate of the party Donald Ramotar says he plans to work closely with the labour movement if elected.
The president has been critical of sections of the media, including this newspaper, the Kaieteur News and internet service Demerara Waves and he again singled out the media houses yesterday as “hovering” at the Good Hope market tarmac where several hundred persons turned up to the party’s rally. Jagdeo has been heavily criticized for his attacks on the media.
The head of state lashed out at the media for “highlighting the negatives” of the PPP/C administration and he called on the news entities to “go to Congress Place and go to (AFC presidential candidate Khemraj) Ramjattan’s house if you want flesh to eat”. An agitated Jagdeo continued that, “the carrion crows breathe life into the PNCR and AFC because they do not have life in their campaigns…they have few turn outs at their campaign meetings”. He said that “the media vultures, every day they target the PPP”, noting that at the party rallies none of the speakers discriminate against anyone based on their race.
He said that, “suddenly the Kaieteur News and the Stabroek News, they are saying why is he (the president) behaving like this”, that he should go out peacefully “and leave a legacy”. However he stated bluntly, “I’m not worried about legacy, you are the people who support us and will maintain the PPP legacy and as long as these vultures remain and try to stop progress and as long as they try to divide our people ethnically, I will continue to cuss them out”.
The head of state also accused the opposition alliance, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) of engaging in racial politics arguing that the APNU is “using” political activist Tacuma Ogunseye as a “proxy” to preach race hate messages.
He told the gathering that, “you may not hear the race message, from (APNU presidential candidate) David Granger or (prime ministerial candidate Rupert) Roopnaraine themselves, but they have proxies… a member from ACDA (the African Cultural and Development Association )”. He said that the media never covers ACDA’s statements, adding that, “all the elections commission people or monitors ..they do not say a word about him (Ogunseye)”. The president also accused attorney Nigel Hughes of the AFC of practising racial politics. He also labelled the AFC member a “permanent retainer for the drug dealers”. He continued that, “because of this he will never be appointed a senior counsel under me or I’m sure not under a Ramotar presidency”.
Ramotar, speaking in calmer tones, told the hundreds who turned up at Good Hope that the party will continue to work after November 28th to take Guyana to another level in terms of development. He said that everyone knows that the party has done a lot for the country, noting that many have realized that such achievements did not come easy.
He said that every day, the government is struggling to make life better for Guyanese, noting that the party’s campaign this elections is one of continuity. Ramotar welcomed new addition to the party’s platform, former Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) leader Gillian Burton to the party and he noted that he is committed and will in future work together with the labour movement. “I will do as much as I can to work towards uniting labour in Guyana once again, a lot will depend on the attitude of some in the trades union movement”.
He said that it does not matter who those persons vote for or which party they support, “but as long as they don’t push partisan political agendas, as long as their politics are about people, they will find a friend in Ramotar in a PPP/C government”.
Party stalwart and long serving member, Navin Chanderpal also addressed the gathering at Good Hope, and he called for the supporters of the party to unite and vote the government back into office this year. He likened that workings of the government over the years to a cricket match, noting that in an innings there are times when the “run –rate may be slow”. He noted however, that at the end, a great innings and pivotal contributions are what matters. He said too that every election period is a time for reflection on what the government has done over the years and to give consideration to what needs to be done.
Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) chairman, Bishop Juan Edghill also publically endorsed the party at the rally, noting that it is an undisputed fact that Guyana is poised for unprecedented levels of progress and development’ under the current administration.
Edghill said that there are issues about his political life, “some properly and awkwardly”, which needed clarity and he noted that some may wonder why would a church leader get involved in politics. He said that he believes that there is a call for development and as such he is answering to that call.