Jagdeo censures PNC for using public servants to attend political meetings
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) has been accused of using State agencies and its employees to attend rallies and public meetings. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has pointed to one glaring example of such abuse of authority.
“They got public meeting but the Guyana Revenue Authority, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Citizenship, Mayor and City Council…so they have the PNC as a public meeting and the agencies will attend,” Jagdeo said at his weekly press briefing on Thursday.
Jagdeo says this highlights how much the PNC is trying to influence public servants into supporting their events.
“We will invite them to come to the ones that we have, let’s see if they will come to our political meeting. In fact I’ll create one and invite the GRA and the Ministries of Health and Citizenship” the Opposition Leader suggested.
The PPP General Secretary said these meetings are used to “lie” to the citizenry. He feels it is a major concern and should be taken seriously by all parties.
“They have thrown the Constitution under the bus and that is why 22 of them have gone into the hinterland this weekend, trying to make false promises to people. And they are running around…look at these activities, which would have been frowned upon,” Jagdeo opined.
Only recently, outspoken attorney Christopher Ram told this newspaper that it is clear that Government is utilising State resources to fund their political campaign.
He blasted the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for not bringing it to their attention, while explaining that the Representation of the Peoples Act has clear provisions for this.
The Carter Center had recommended the implementation of campaign financing laws and even prior to that, the Alliance For Change (AFC) was pushing for the implementation of the laws; however, after years in Government, the party and its coalition partner are yet to make a step in that direction.
In its final report on the 2011 General Election, the Carter Center said the need to create legislation to cater for campaign financing was important and even reiterated that in its 2015 report.
Additionally, the report stated that Guyana’s legal framework for elections was silent in the area of registration and operation of political parties; hence, the reason why legislation is needed to establish clear requirements for the registration and operation of political parties that would support the freedom of association and promote broad multiethnic parties that could represent citizens’ interests in governance.
Immediately after the No-confidence Motion was passed in the National Assembly and following the High Court’s ruling in the matter, the coalition Government has upped its political campaigning, although President David Granger is yet to announce a date for the constitutionally mandated General and Regional Elections.