The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has launched a dirty, divisive and dangerous campaign on the approach of general and regional elections. The party’s General Secretary and its apparent elections campaign manager, Mr. Clement Rohee, have been issuing ludicrous but libelous attacks on opposition leaders and political parties.
The PPP’s general elections campaign started several months ago. Mr. Rohee, speaking at the annual commemoration at Babu John on 9th March, said that people were growing restless and uncomfortable politically and “only general elections can change the situation.”
The PPP, for most of the year since then, has been deliberately fomenting constitutional crises in order to vilify the opposition and distract the population from its own sordid record of corruption and mismanagement. The PPP, meanwhile, has been preventing the holding of local government elections and preparing for general and regional elections by indulging in fear-mongering, race-baiting, vote-buying and lying:
- Fear-mongering: The PPP’s scurrilous press statement dated 26th November is one of the most obscene and outrageous to have ever been issued by a political party. The PPP, referring to Opposition MPs by name, stated: “Both Mr. Granger and Mr. Greenidge… would unleash vengeance against anyone they perceive to be associated with the PPP and the PPP/C administration… these threats can only be seen as tantamount to the Demerara River flowing red with blood should the APNU and PNC come to power.” The purpose of the statement is to breed fear by threatening a ‘blood bath’ if APNU were to win the next election.
- Race-baiting: The PPP has been publishing inflammatory, racist statements in order to influence the attitudes and behaviour of Amerindians and persons of Indian origin. The PPP, on 1st December, falsely claimed that the indigenous population had been “battered” under the PNC regime and that the Opposition was “attempting to disenfranchise the Amerindians. The PPP maliciously accused the PNC of being “bent on marginalising the indigenous population.” In fact, it is the PPP which has been accused by the Alliance For Change of creating “…ethnic and geographic apartheid in Guyana” and of “…stirring anti-African fears, conjuring up the so-called ‘black jumbie’ to scare Indians and to woo them away from the AFC.”
- Vote-buying: The PPP has been unfairly spending state resources in certain targeted communities in order to win their votes at the forthcoming elections. Several Ministers have been spending state funds at a phenomenal rate in order to “buy” votes. The Minister of Local Government and Regional Development unilaterally launched a multi-million dollar ‘clean-up-my-country’ programme. The Minister of Amerindian Affairs has been presenting villages with school uniform material. The Minister of Education waited over six months to start disbursing the $10,000 grant promised to the families of schoolchildren. The Prime Minister and junior Finance Minister have been lavishing netbooks (laptop computers) in several rural communities.
- Peddling lies: The PPP lied when it described Shaquille Grant, who was killed by the Police, as a “criminal.” This was an infantile attempt by the author of that lie to show that the Leader of the Opposition was “in bed with the criminal underworld.” Mr. Rohee was forced earlier this week to apologise to Ms Shonette Adams, the boy’s mother, for that malicious lie. The PPP statement mendaciously went on to claim that “Mr. Granger indicated he will go on a ‘witch hunt’ and through his ‘lynch mob,’ would throw due process out the window.” This is a complete falsehood ― a fabrication that was concocted by a sick mind.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is warning the People’s Progressive Party that its inflammatory language, racial incitement and lies during this elections campaign will cause fear and racial hatred. The PPP and its General Secretary must bear responsibility for the consequences of these reckless statements and ferocious behaviour.