Urging the electorate to judge them on their record and the PNC on its past, the PPP campaign swung into the city last evening with speakers exhorting their supporters not to repeat a “fatal mistake” and to vote at the “mother of all elections” on May 11.
“Dem can’t change, is a part of their nature,” Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon said referring to APNU as he addressed a crowd comprising several dozen persons at Bourda Green last evening. “In government they bruk up, in opposition they bruk up, in the future they gon lick up,” he said to cheers and laughter from those assembled.
In attack mode, Luncheon directed his barbs mainly at APNU and its leader David Granger. He repeatedly stressed that APNU is the PNC and cannot change. The kind of past associated with the PNC is like a “nightmare,” he said while adding that the past has been so difficult and real “that it is beyond forgetting.”
“They dare not take you to any examination of the past,” Luncheon declared saying that the PNC has nothing more to offer than platitudes. He said that the PPP will never forget the past and will not give the APNU+AFC alliance any chance whatsoever to ever again get at the helm of government. Supporters shouted “go away” in support of his sentiments.
There is only one alternative and that is the PPP, Luncheon declared while urging Guyanese to “come out and vote for the real alternative” which he said is the PPP. Before the meeting got underway, the PPP’s campaign song ‘It is Time’ blared from loudspeakers and curious motorists slowed. The opposition alliance, APNU+AFC had earlier this month unveiled ‘It is Time’ as their campaign slogan. Several government ministers including Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran and Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee were present. Presidential Advisor Gail Teixeira was also among those present and former president Bharrat Jagdeo put in an appearance though he did not speak.
The presence of head of the government’s One Laptop Per Family Programme Margo Boyce as well as several other females who hold “senior management positions” in the programme was also highlighted.
Calling himself an “aged warrior” Luncheon thanked Guyana for supporting him and the PPP over the last 23 years in government. He stressed that he was there to “unfrock” the position of the opposition. “They dare to come forth and to say to you we are the better alternative” but they are not, he said adding that the progress seen today was made real by the late president Dr Cheddi Jagan and the PPP and this is what the opposition dares to challenge. He repeatedly emphasised that APNU is PNC under another name. Hurling barbs at “my good friend David,” Luncheon was critical of the opposition alliance’s presidential candidate’s refusal to appear before the Commission of Inquiry investigating the death of WPA founder Dr Walter Rodney to address claims
made against him and others in the PNC that they contributed to the assassination of Rodney. He also roasted the opposition for budget cuts and said that they have made a mockery of parliamentary democracy in the 10th Parliament.
“Indeed President Ramotar had a time and a half dealing with these interlopers,” he said while adding that the opposition sat there pretending to be there at the behest of Guyanese and discharging the mandate given to them
by their supporters but they enjoyed the benefits of being parliamentarians and give nothing to Guyanese.
“A group of politicians the likes of whom this country has never seen…these are the kind of politicians that Guyana does not need,” Luncheon said, labelling them as refuseniks and angry people.
He accused the opposition of showing arrogance and contempt for the Guyanese people and said that the practices of the PNC in the past are no different now.
Luncheon accused the PNC of having a despicable attitude to “our black comrades” who have not been following their line and becoming members of the PNC. According to Luncheon, the PNC by its attitude has ruled itself out of any consideration for leadership of Guyana and so enormous is their double standards “that we have to keep speaking forever about it.”
Speaking of the 2012 Linden protests when three protestors were fatally shot on July 18, Luncheon charged that Granger had made a “dangerous retraction” that ultimately led to the shooting. He was referring to an agreement between government and APNU to raise electricity tariffs in Linden to be in line with the rest of the country which, he said, Granger initially agreed on then later reneged. July 18, 2012 should be a memorable day because it shows the depth to which a nation could sink, Luncheon said while laying the blame on Granger.
Attorney Euclin Gomes was the first speaker and accused APNU and the AFC of not thinking of Guyanese when they signed the Cummingsburg Accord – the pact to formalize the alliance. He suggested that APNU cannot be trusted. “Somebody getting con in that business and I know it’s not APNU,” he declared.
The attorney urged persons to look back at the past. “The PPP is inviting you to look back,” he said. “If you don’t look back you are not going to be able to know where you are.”
Gomes urged the electorate to also look back at the record of the PPP and judge the party by that. “It is the real deal,” he said. “Y’all get out of power now man,” a passerby heckled.
According to Gomes, the PPP brought change to Guyana and people are not anxious to leave the country anymore because life is a lot better. He said that “backtrack”, the practice of going to another country illegally has died a natural death because persons do not want to pay that amount of money anymore. “The party nice in Guyana, don’t stop the music,” he asserted.
Gomes also spoke on the issue of race and said that “I don’t know since when the facts can be interpreted as race.” He said that he was in the Corentyne recently and was reminded that it was no longer necessary to retrieve “dhall” and “aloo” from “the black sage root.”
The PPP will never allow these things to happen in Guyana again, he said as a passing cyclist heckled “you lie, you lie, you lie.”
The attorney said the upcoming elections is “the mother of all elections” and urged persons not to make the same mistake – which he deemed a “fatal error” – twice and to go out to vote. The 10th Parliament was reduced to a circus because of complacency on the part of PPP supporters, he said.
The APNU+AFC alliance are “only there to decorate the ballot sheet…don’t even look at it,” he exhorted while adding that the election is important to protect gains and if the people do not do so and it is taken away then they have no one to blame but themselves.
“Guyana nice, the party nice, PPP/C nice it up. Don’t stop the music,” he declared while adding that the plan ought to be “kick them out…if you out, stay out.”
Dr Vindhya Persaud also spoke and said that the electorate must not be blind to the visible changes around the country. Referring to the past, she said that it would be disrespectful to dismiss a time when people struggled to survive. Credit is due to the PPP/C for the progress in Guyana, she declared. Not everything has been done but things have started and things are happening, she asserted while urging persons not to vote on personalities and minor things but to vote on the bigger picture.