(GuyanaChronicle)President Ali condemns Opposition’s ‘disparaging, disrespectful’ attack on Afro-Guyanese
–reaffirms commitment to building an inclusive society
PRESIDENT, Dr. Irfaan Ali has strongly denounced “disparaging and disrespectful” comments from opposition leaders about “money being used to buy Afro-Guyanese supporters” and the call for boycotts of businesses owned by persons of this ethnicity.
In a live broadcast from State House, the President called for a new paradigm in which national development, democracy, tolerance, and respect are given priority over division and dishonour.
On Nomination Day, former Mayor of Georgetown Patricia Chase-Green; former PNCR Councillor Trichria Richards; a former independent city councillor for the Albouystown/Charlestown constituency, popular radio announcer Malcolm Ferreira, and many others joined the PPP/C ahead of the Local Government Elections.
The crossover of Chase-Green and other prominent figures has been seen as a major blow to the Opposition, which has since resorted to a campaign to discredit their former members’ credibility.
During the live broadcast, the President expressed his disappointment at the negative comments made by some leaders in politics, particularly calling out Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton for his statements of “great cause for concern.”
“I’ve been reading comments from the Leader of the Opposition, someone who speaks about democracy and inclusiveness, and some of the statements that are attributed to him and that he’s making are of great cause for concern.
“For example, using comments like money as a disposal for Black support. That is disparaging. You should care to respect our Afro-Guyanese brothers and sisters, and this is what you would say to them, that they can be bought?
“That backward type of politics; that disheartening type of politics is something of the past. That can’t win anymore in the future, Mr. Norton. That can’t bring people together. That age-old strategy of yours has died understanding this,” the Head of State said.
He posited that Afro-Guyanese have the capacity to think and analyse for themselves, especially for the upcoming LGEs and the 2025 General and Regional Elections.
“Why can’t we let these elections be one where we’re debating ideas, moving, and sharing ideas? Then you are saying that people were paid to put on a jersey. This is how you think and believe in our people? This is how you view our Guyanese brothers and sisters, especially our Afro-Guyanese brothers and sisters? That they are so susceptible, that they can be paid to put on the jersey. This type of disparaging politics; a disparaging view of people; it’s disrespectful and I denounce it. I denounce that disrespect to our people,” Dr. Ali said.
The President also addressed comments made by leading members of the Opposition, who called for the boycott of businesses owned by PPP/C’s Afro-Guyanese supporters.
He underscored that such “backwardness” from the Opposition does not promote the building of an inclusive society or democracy in Guyana, especially voters’ rights.
“Good leadership is to respect the choices of people. Respect – that is what democracy is. It gives people choices. We will continue to build a society that points to inclusiveness. I want us all to understand that joining a political party or a political system is part of your democratic right and value. You should not be chastised.
“This is so disheartening and coming from the leadership of the Opposition; believing that people with such disparaging comments; that people can be bought and people can be sold,” the President said.