WPA won’t be part of elections rigging; calls for national unity government and end to “old” politics

As the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) observes the 39th assassination anniversary of its co-leader, Dr. Walter Rodney, that party vowed that it would not be part of any plot to rig the upcoming general elections and that it knows of no such plans to do so.

“As we enter the electoral season and the political anxieties that come with it, WPA takes this opportunity to categorically state that it is vehemently opposed to electoral malpractice as a route to power. This is a fundamental principle of our party that is non-negotiable—WPA will not be part of any overt or covert plan or action to rig elections. To do so, would be a dishonour to the legacy of Walter Rodney and the other stalwarts of our party who gave their lives and sacrifices for free and fair elections that are free from fear,” the WPA said.

Others killed during that period included Ohene Koama, Edward Dublin and Roman Catholic priest, Father Bernard Darke.

The WPA dismissed claims by the opposition and others that there is a plot to rig the elections. “WPA sees or knows of no plans in that regard,” the party said.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had in March, 2019 accused the Guyana Elections Commission of planning to rig the elections by excluding a small number of persons per polling stations during a planned house-to-house registration exercise.

Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980 in a bomb-in-walkie-talkie blast a short distance from the Georgetown Prison, while he had been seated in his Mazda Capella car bearing licence plate number PBB 2349. Former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Sergeant 4141 Gregory Smith, who supplied the device, left for French Guiana where he had worked under the name, Cyril Johnson, until he died of cancer in November, 2002.

Smith had been charged with Rodney’s murder in 1996, and an arrest warrant had been issued. However, France does allow for the extradition of persons to countries with a mandatory death penalty.

The WPA maintains that Rodney was assassinated in response to the Civil Rebellion that he and the WPA had been waging against the then Forbes Burnham-led People’s National Congress (PNC) administration.