Thursday, November 24, 2011

PPP/C warns electorate of Opposition attempts to incite racial division

-says it will be used as pretext for post election disturbances

OVERT and subtle attempts at inciting division, exciting tension and undermining the atmosphere of peace on the basis of race and religion by some political factions, as well as their supporters, have been criticized by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which called for Guyanese to resist all such attempts so as to prevent a descent into anarchy.

PPP/C campaign spokesman Minister, Robert Persaud, at a press briefing at the party’s Freedom House headquarters yesterday, said certain factions in the political arena have been pandering to the race and religion bases to create disunity among the Guyanese people, calling it a worrying development.
He observed that these attempts may become the pretext for post elections disruptions.
“These parties can incite irreparable divisions, excite racial prejudices and undermine the peace and security that is necessary for the exercise of the will of the people; and more importantly can become the pretext for post elections disruptions,” Persaud said.
He added that the PPP/C welcomes the observer groups, adding that these concerns will be raised during scheduled meetings with them.
“We feel that all Guyanese will reject this, but it is our duty to bring these concerns forward,” Persaud said.


According to him, the party has received reports of business persons being intimidated because they have expressed support for a particular political party.
Calling the attempts nauseating, Persaud said the complaints are being verified.
“We are not reckless...some incidents we have raised, others we have taken note of,” he said. When asked about evidence of such acts, he said, “We are giving the proper authorities an opportunity to do their work.”
Persaud added that in the meantime, the PPP/C will continue to voice its concerns and will not be faulted for not bringing these worrying matters to light.
He stated that coming down to elections, the focus should be on ensuring that the voting process goes smoothly, not on intimidation.
According to him, the PPP/C is a stakeholder in this process and, as such, has put measures in place that will support the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and law enforcement.
On that note, he lauded the move by the Private Sector Commission and other groups that have come forward to support peaceful, free and fair elections.
“All stakeholders have equal obligation…we have put our arrangements in place,” he said.


Persaud observed that the fact that the opposition factions have resorted to these tactics is a clear reflection of desperation, adding that these groups are not addressing issues, but are descending to a worrying path.
“People behind this belong to a past age…the Guyanese people are not up to this,” he said.
He maintained that the PPP/C’s focus has always been on maintaining the momentum of national unity, which has supported Guyana’s advance.
He added that the PPP/C Presidential Candidate has said time and time again that the party is open to every stakeholder with constructive contributions to Guyana’s development drive.
Persaud maintained that elections are not about winning and losing; rather they are about the Guyanese people choosing a party to govern the country – a right that has to be respected.


Also present at the briefing were three prominent religious leaders, who are also listed on the PPP/C List of Candidates.
They called for national unity at a time when Guyana is poised to go forward, an advance that will be impeded by division of the Guyanese people.
Bishop Kwame Gilbert pointed out that Guyana is a multi-ethnic society; and in a complex environment, ethnic and religious tension has the potential to seriously harm development.
He stressed that there must be a respect for citizens’ democratic right to elect a government, without having trouble being stirred up on the basis of historical insecurities.
According to him, the country’s peace and harmony can be destabilised if Guyanese do not renounce ideals promoting division.
Pandit Jagmohan Persaud, adding his bit, noted that Guyana has come a long way and the present day conditions are right for Guyanese to work in a cohesive way.
“People of all races, religions and temperaments can work together to build a better tomorrow,” he said.
Pandit Persaud added that division of any kind is not conducive to nation building, and can cause a relapse into the conditions of the past.
From the Muslim community, Warren Barlow stated that no one relishes a repeat of the past, and he called for Guyanese to remain calm and be sensible.
According to him, the Guyanese people once again have their democratic right to choose their leaders, and at no cost should this be taken away.

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