…hundreds gather at Babu Jaan for death anniversary of Dr Cheddi Jagan
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will be moving to have election crimes punishable by law before the next Regional and General Elections in 2020.
Supporters including Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdattat and PPP Executive Member Alli Baksh at the wreath-laying ceremony on the Essequibo Coast on Sunday
Wreaths at the monument erected in memory of Dr Cheddi Jagan in Region Two
This is according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo who was at the time addressing hundreds of supporters at Babu Jaan, Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice at the observance of the death anniversary of the Party’s founding leader and late President, Dr Cheddi Berret Jagan.
“Before the next elections, we have to lobby for legislation to make elections crime punishable by law. We must have thorough legislation against [Guyana Elections Commission] GECOM officials who act fraudulently. GECOM has never taken any of its employees to court,” Jagdeo told the mammoth crowd.
“People have a fear that the elections of the future will not be fair,” he told supporters, assuring them that the PPP has a plan of action that would be developed to ensure that the 2020 General Election would be free and fair.
Outlining the plan, he said that all must join in the call for GECOM to launch an international investigation into the false Statements of Poll (SoPs) which were allegedly in GECOM’s database. “We have to push for an investigation into why the Returning Officer of Region Four [Demerara-Mahaica] shut her door so that the PPP could not submit its request for a recount. We must get answers as to why GECOM tried to strike out our elections petitions even though they were not a party to the elections. We must insist that all observers – including GECOM, international and the Private Sector – follow a protocol at the Local Government Elections,” Jagdeo told his supporters as he outlined some of the activities the Party would be involved in as it prepared to get back into office.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader told supporters that the Party lost the 2015 National Elections because of its own complacency, false promises by the coalition and the message of corruption on the part of the then Government which was being preached.
He said the Party only looked good on paper going into the May 10 elections, but was weak in terms of structure. Jagdeo said a post-mortem of the elections was done and proved that despite the lapses the Party had going into the elections, it should have been victorious.
“We would have still been in office had they not stolen the election… we will win back all those who left us and were misled. Many have come back and many young ones now have a chance to compare.”
Meanwhile, over on the Essequibo Coast, Dr Jagan was also remembered at an impressive wreath-laying ceremony held at the Cheddi Jagan play park in Anna Regina.
The special wreath-laying ceremony was organised by Anna Regina PPP Freedom House in commemoration of Dr Jagan’s death anniversary. Dr Jagan passed away 19 years ago on March 6, 1997. The programme featured poems, songs, and lectures that neatly traced the life of the dynamic politician.
Delivering the feature address was former Minister within the Agriculture Ministry and PPP Central Committee Executive Member Alli Baksh, who said that Dr Jagan was born in Port Mourant and although he was an ordinary person, he used his time on earth to transform all sectors in Guyana through his hard work.
Baksh described Dr Jagan as a teacher, father and a politician who had the working class at heart with the vow to liberate Guyana to a democratic and free nation. Baksh highlighted the life and work of the leader, his education, his political life and the achievements he made for Guyana.
In 1953, Baksh explained to the young comrades present, Dr Jagan saw the struggles of rice farmers and formed the Guyana Rice Producers Association (GRPA). Via the GRPA, many things were done to assist rice farmers hence making the rice industry viable. Baksh told the gathering that Dr Jagan was sent to prison numerous times, but with determination he stayed focused and made Guyana an independent nation.
“Our comrades must remember the history and the rich legacy of Jagan, he had vision for Guyana, inherited a Government that was bankrupt and with begging hat, he went out to various countries asking for debts write-off; he made the economy start blossoming,” the PPP member said.
Meanwhile, Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt, addressing his fellow PPP comrades, described the late Dr Jagan as a fighter. He outlined that “local government” and “independence” were just a few of the things the leader fought for, for a better Guyana. According to Ramdatt, Dr Jagan was the most principled political leader that pursued the people’s agenda, despite varied attacks by the PNC. He noted that for an independent Guyana, the struggle was led by Dr Jagan who had unwavering commitment to the working class.
“Our working-class people are rice farmers who are struggling; we must unite together in our Party, embrace all forms of peaceful struggle; we shall rise up and not let them intimidate and silence us. Let us draw inspiration by leader Jagan; today we have to renew our commitment to be revolutionary,” Ramdatt said.
He urged his comrades to remain united towards the manifestation of a progressive nation.