Statement By The
General Secretary of the PPP

Sympathy on the passing of Fr. Morrison

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wishes to express its deepest sympathy to the Catholic community and to the family and friends of Father Andrew Morrison who recently passed away.

Father Morrison will always be remembered by the freedom loving people of our country for his courage and determination in fighting to restore democracy in Guyana. He distinguished himself in upholding the Freedom of the Press.

He would be greatly missed.

Local Government Elections

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) hopes that in this New Year that the long over due Local Government Elections would be held. It is clear that these elections are needed to renew grass roots democracy and allow people to have greater self-government.

We hope that all concerned will appreciate this point and work towards holding these elections.

We cannot, also, help but notice that the main opposition Party seems intent on putting all kinds of obstacles in facing these polls. If they are sincere in their talk of democracy then they should help the process instead of their present role as a hindrance.

Let us have the Local Government Elections at the earliest opportunity!

Mini Bus Issue

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) welcomes the decision to immediately put on hold the enforcement by the Guyana Police Force of an existing law, under the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act. 21:01, which requires mini buses to have 12 seats instead of 15 seats. That law we understand was on the books since the mid 1960s. At that time mini-buses did not ply our roads.

It is therefore important to see if the law needs to be changed or amended to take into consideration the type of vehicles that now dominate our road transport system.

The PPP met with some of its supporters and mini-bus operators who expressed serious concerns about the implications this enforcement has for their livelihood.

At the same time the Party is concerned of the safety and comforts of the travelling public. Those mini-buses that are modified to add more seats than they have been made to accommodate should resort back to the original positions. Such modifications put at risk the lives and limbs of passengers.

The Party also wishes to commend the Guyana Police Force for staying on top of the challenges, even in the most difficult circumstances.

The PPP urges all concerned to consider all the persons that are involved, i.e. the travelling public, mini-bus owners, operators and workers and come to a solution that all can accept.

The reports on the PPP internal operations in the Press

I have noticed in the press uninformed persons making comments on the internal operations of the Party.

Also, several of these persons have never been members of the PPP and therefore have no knowledge of how the Party mechanism functions.

It has also been drawn to my attention that one media house even chose to consult one Annan Boodram as an expert on the PPP. Let me inform the public that Mr. Boodram was never elected to the leadership of the PPP.

Our Party has always been a disciplined organisation, membership is voluntary but members must subscribe to the rules that govern the People’s Progressive Party.

The Party rejects attempts by certain elements to create confusion and miss understanding about the way it operates.

Opposition/Media Allegations

President Jagdeo and subsequently the Commissioner of Police have requested Mr. Corbin to provide the “intelligence” or information he claims to have on the media allegations regarding Minister Ronald Gajraj.

It should be noted, that the police is the only lawful authority authorised to conduct criminal investigations.

Instead of supporting the formal process necessary for a transparent investigation, the Leader of the Opposition launched a vitriolic attack on the Commissioner of Police. Mr. Corbin could not be serious about any investigation.

Guyanese are seeing through his political gimmicks of petitioning, picketing and walking out of Parliament and that is why the PNCR picket lines have attracted a small number. The PNCR seems least interested in any investigation but only wants to lynch Minister Gajraj.

The time has come for Mr. Corbin and the PNCR to either put up or shut up!

January 29, 2004