Diaspora: Charandass & Jagdeo are Heroes

Diaspora: Charandass & Jagdeo are Heroes
Photo: Charandass Persaud

Charandass Persaud, the former AFC Member of Parliament, has received showers of praise from the Guyanese and Caribbean diaspora for his vote to bring down the government of Guyana in a no confidence motion. He and Bharrat Jagdeo are viewed as heroes by those opposed to the APNU (PNC)-AFC regime in Guyana. Even most AFC supporters and some APNU (PNC followers) support the action of Charandass. The regime has been accused of discriminating against Amerindians, Indians, Chinese and Portuguese. Thus, a large majority of Guyanese want the regime out. It is a view also supported by a large majority of Guyanese in the diaspora as well as by many Caribbean people. Regrettably, the regime, true to its authoritarian ways, seems unwilling to submit to the provisions of the constitution that calls for its immediate resignation and elections.

In conversations and written communications, the Guyanese diaspora in USA, UK, Canada, and Trinidad describes Member of Parliament Charandass Persaud and Opposition Leader, cum PPP leader, Bharrat Jagdeo "as heroes" for their roles in bringing down the "discredited" coalition government over its misrule, unforced errors, racial discrimination, poor governance, arrogance, mishandling of the economy, termination of sugar workers, replacement of Amerindians with PNC supporters in jobs, and corruption. It is the talk among Guyanese everywhere (in Guyana and the diaspora) and even non-Guyanese people from the greater Caribbean region. People, even many APNU (PNC) supporters, are pleased that the coalition government has fallen and would like to see a change in government when elections are held in three months time. How could the coalition not expect this result when it governed so badly and in so biased a manner against supporters of the PPP? Tens of thousands of Indians voted for the coalition, yet it discriminated against Indians denying them jobs and replacing many with PNC supporters.

One Minister instructed the bureaucracy to hire only PNC supporters. It is incredible that a APNU+AFC government that enjoyed so much goodwill when it was installed in office 42 months ago could lose so much support in so quick time. Even those who did not vote for the coalition in 2015 said they wanted to see it succeed and hoped the coalition would take measures to transform their lives for the better. Instead, the coalition pursued vindictive policies targeting supporters of the PPP and the hapless Amerindian people. The peoples' standard of living worsened over the last three years. People lost confidence in their future well being under the PNC led regime. They had enough of the government. This is one of the reasons they voted against the coalition in local elections in November giving the PPP a landslide victory as accurately predicted by a NACTA poll.

Photo : Bharrat Jagdeo

What is unfortunate is the AFC has so many good officers in government, but they would not speak out against the wrong doings of the regime. Ministers and MPs of the ruling coalition refuse to accept that people have had enough of them; the Ministers were far removed from the reality on the ground. Those who helped get the coalition in office complained they could not find an appointment to meet with the Ministers or top bureaucrats to discuss their grouses. Almost everyone in the diaspora who visited Guyana over the last three years agreed that the country was better off under the PPP administration that governed between October 1992 and May 2015. Guyanese in Guyana also agree that the country was better off under PPP governance as revealed in recent NACTA polls. Charandass said he could not take more racism. He decided to act against the racist government voting it out. He is a man of principle and unmatched courage. In Guyana, some had a racist outburst against Charandass for voting against the government. In Parliament, some expressed racist expletives. But democracy was at work. Charandass said he voted "his conscience". At the same time, the sober people in the diaspora support him saying they want to see the back of this government, the sooner the better, for deceiving them. They say they could not take any more abuse from this regime.

One person after another in the diaspora and in Guyana expressed how pleased they were/are that Charandass decided to take measures in his own hands and vote down the government -- they support his vote of "good riddance". They salute Charandass for his courage recognizing his life would be at stake. Not many would stand up for his belief and vote his conscience asthe AFC MP did. But Charandass took a principled position against the government's racist policies, as he eloquently articulated in his press conference post-confidence vote. Charandass did not cave in to "bullyism" from agents of the coalition and threats to his life. Even after he voted down the government, they insulted and ridiculed him. But Charandass stood his ground.

The diapsora, and even some in the PNC/AFC/WPA, sees Charandass as a person of integrity and honesty. Even those who do not support his action praised him for defending his belief and standing up for something unlike the leadership of the AFC that they say betrayed the trust of their supporters. They wish if the AFC leadership had displayed similar courage as Charandass who they say "voted like a boss" repeating the campaign them of the coalition in 2015. Instead, they said the AFC MPs voted like "an ass".

Those who were pleased to see a change in government in May 2015 welcome the action of Charandass in voting against the government holding it accountable for its countless missteps and abuse of power. They praise Charandass for his courage viewing him as the only one in the ruling coalition as having "the cojenes" to stand up to the regime for its authoritarian and unaccountable policies that discriminated against people based on political and racial affiliation. They want to know if Khemraj Ramjattan, Moses Nagamootoo, Rafael Trottman, and Jaipaul Sharma have lost their sense of reasoning for supporting the terrible policies of the coalition administration over the last three and a half years. Had they stood up for fairness, they would have recovered the support they lost over the years. And people thank Jagdeo for having the foresight to bring the government to account to parliament and the population. Jagdeo's political stock has risen as a result of the no confidence vote that brought down the terrible regime. The next step, according to the law, is for the regime to resign and set a date for elections. Attachments area