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Permit my brief response to Freddie Kissoon’s column on December 21. 2021, KN, Captioned: “Charran and the reason for the NCV on this date in 2018.” Kissoon on the anniversary of the No Conference Vote once again sought to defend his friend Charrandas Persaud from the accusation of treachery and lamented the absence of intellectual legacy in the country which is reflected in the refusal to defend Charrandas, “To this day, Charran is being vilified….”.
Before I continue, I want to remind readers that I am on public record on this matter. I took the position that any MP has the right of a conscience vote, even if their action leads to the fall of the government, once he /she made their position known to their colleagues and the public. And for me, this is a matter of political culture and principle. This was not the course adopted by the former APNU+AFC MP Charrandas Persaud. When we consider his budget speech a few weeks before the NCV and substantive charges of the coalition’s neglect of his constituency in Berbice is undeniable questionable and opens the former MP to accusations of treachery.
May I remind readers that Mr. Kissoon is on record of claiming that his friend Charrandas had told him that he would bring down the government, this according to Kissoon was some time before the NCV in the parliament. I had said that I remained open to giving Charrandas Persaud the benefit of the doubt if he provided satisfactory explanation for his actions. To date it has not been forthcoming. His acceptance of ambassador position in the new PPPC government destroyed any claim of a conscience vote by him.
Having regressed, I now return to the Kissoon column. Kissoon makes much noise of the bribe accusation. If MP Persaud did not receive money for his vote he certainly got bribed as ambassador. More importantly, while Kissoon demands intellectual objectively on the issue, he resorted to a non-intellectual rationalization. He wrote: ” The bribe thing can easily be dismissed – let’s debunk it. If the PPP made a deal with Charran in which he voted for the motion and is paid for it, then that deal is settled by the vote. Why then would they make him ambassador to one of the strategic countries Guyana relates to? “. This gross trivialization of a serious matter is Kissoon’s style. While I am in no position to conclude that Persaud received a monetary bribe from the PPP or their financial backers, I am prepared to say that the deal could have been both monetary and a political position. This is not farfetched in the world of politics. And Kissoon is aware of this possibility.
In justifying Charrandass’s action Kissoon pointed to several things by the coalition government that he alleged to be treachery and backstabbing. He then posed the question: “Why is Charran the only defaulter?” In his wisdom, he has conceded that friends like his colleagues in the coalition did engage in treachery and backstabbing. Implying that it is an issue of “pot telling kettle yu bottom black”, the bottom line is that Kissoon has at last conceded what many Guyanese felt, both non supporters and supporters of the PPPC. Kissoon leaves us with no doubt where Charrandas Persaud stood on the matter. He states, “He wanted a group of power – drunkards, who betrayed him and his country to fall.”
I end by saying Kissoon at last done the nation a service by revealing the true intentions of his friend Charrandas Persaud. It is a fitting contribution to the anniversary of the No-Confidence Motion.