What was expected to be an exciting time for members of the parliamentary Opposition People’s Progressive
Party/Civic (PPP/C), turned out to be very insulting and unpleasant event, as there were no seating arrangements for them when they turned up at D’Urban Park to witness the flag raising ceremony.
The situation forced Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to gather his MP’s and leave the celebration, in protest of what he said seemed to be an attempt to embarrass the PPP.
When contacted on Wednesday evening, Jagdeo told Guyana Times that his Party had signalled its intention of attending the event, since it wanted to participate in the activities to mark the country’s significant milestone.
He said contact was also made with Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry, who holds responsibility for the event, concerning the seating arrangement. He said assurance was given that this was taken care of. In fact, he said she related that there were some 1000 VIP seats.
Jagdeo further related that the Party received a ruthless shock when members turned up, but had to stand for over 30 minutes. Jagdeo said, while himself and a few other senior members of the Party were already seated, the majority of party members were left standing, while other persons, many of whom were dressed inappropriately, passed by and were allowed seats. He said he asked Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams to address the matter and warned that if it was not, then he would be left with no choice but to leave in solidarity with his colleagues who were left unseated.
The former President said nothing was done, and his Party left some 45 minutes after arriving.