The PPP devoted most of its press conference yesterday to denouncing claims by former party stalwart Ralph Ramkarran that it had struggled to clamp down on corruption.
The party’s General Secretary Clement Rohee stated, “Of course I deny that the PPP is corrupt…”
He added, “I said that it is not only misleading it’s a downright and gross misrepresentation. Okay? Now it is for Ramkarran to point out the instances of corruption. If he wishes he may pluck them from the Stabroek News or the Kaieteur News or the Demerara Waves or other places but he should point to concrete instances and don’t regurgitate what is being said in the press about allegations of corruption.”
Rohee called on the former Speaker of the House to “quote in the same way that I did evidence to show or to substantiate what he said. He has not produced anything of that nature. He has made a blanket statement, but he has not quoted… from anyone or any source… to substantiate what he has said. I have done so.”
He said that as a party member and an active participant in the executive of the party he too knew what he was talking about and was in a position to discredit the remarks by Ramkarran that have been consistent since he departed the party in 2012.
Rohee told members of the media, “Mr Ramkarran in his writings seeks to corrupt the politically uninitiated and to insult those readers who know otherwise. Above all, his articles come across to readers as acts of spite rather than expressions of truth and fact.”
He accused Ramkarran of having personal issues with the party more so than political or ideological ones and ending up “on the anti-PPP bandwagon.” Rohee also accused Stabroek News and the Kaieteur News of being anti-PPP.
He highlighted that although there are heavy discussions around corruption to date there have been no charges laid and allegations are proving to be untrue. “Not a single case has been proven as yet. All we are hearing are investigations, commissions of inquiry, audits, reviews and so forth,” Rohee told members of the media.
The party’s statement as it relates to Ramkarran who was in government for 21 of the party’s 23 years in power, are tied to his recent remarks over the controversial Memorandum of Understanding between government and Fedders Lloyd on the specialty hospital.
The party is strongly opposed to Fedders Lloyd constructing the hospital with former president Donald Ramotar and former attorney general Anil Nandlall blasting the MOU, citing that the company was disqualified previously.
The government been inconsistent in its explanation over how the MOU was awarded. Initially, the Ministry of Finance said government had approached Fedders Lloyd “in the interest of time,” to undertake the completion of the project. Subsequently, the ministry said Fedders Lloyd qualified to be selected by virtue of the firm having been one of the two bidders in contention for the original project under the former PPP/C government.
Ramkarran had written in his Sunday Stabroek column, “There is absolutely no reason why a new bidding process must be undertaken when the contract is ready to be awarded. If the value of the works already done is subtracted from the contract price, a new contract price is arrived at. The government gets an advantage because the bid by Fedders Lloyd, the lowest at the time, is three years old. Prices have risen since then. A new bidding process is therefore to Guyana’s disadvantage.”