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The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) in a release on Wednesday said 21 United States (US)- based Guyanese organisations in the tristate area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) want the US Department of Justice and Congress to investigate whether the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government may have sought to influence the US midterm elections. Of particular interest is the New York state election for Attorney General.
The race was contested by Democrat incumbent Letitia James who was challenged by Republican Michael Henry. James won reelection by a wide margin.
Village Voice reached out to Mr. Rickford Burke, President, CGID for an update and was informed the complaint was filed with the relevant authorities.
Burke told this publication the organisations “would like to know if the PPP provided false and misleading information to Republicans in an effort to directly and deliberately target Democrats and interfere in the election in New York state, with the expressed intent to influence the outcome.” This is a serious crime in the USA, he informed. The Donald Trump campaign was investigated for similar behaviour during the 2016 US presidential race.
During the campaign in Queens, NY in front of Sybil’s Restaurant, Henry told the Guyanese community James has “a soft spot in her heart for criminals,” is “pro-criminal anti-police activist” and has association/link to political violence, “especially for an individual [Rickford Burke] who is wanted for political violence in another country.” According to Henry, James has “endorsed [Burke’s] behaviour; she has stood by his behavior. ” There is no wanted bulletin issued for Burke in Guyana for political violence.
The Queens borough is considered a stronghold of the PPP.
In the pitch for votes Henry told the gathering he “promise the Indo-Guyanese community and Guyanese community as a whole, when I am the attorney general nobody is going to get away with threats of political violence to your families, your homes and your businesses…” Listen to the tape below.
The organisations, in their release, accused government of “using millions of Guyanese taxpayers’ money to hire Trump republican political consultants.” The PPP has publicly admitted to hiring US-based Mercury Public Affairs lobbying firm. In May 2019 then Minister of Public Security, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, told the media that hiring spelled bad news for Guyana. Ramjattan said back then the firm was not hired “for lobbying services for free and fair elections in Guyana.”
Village Voice is privy to information of the Government of Guyana utilising the services of a Washington-based lobbying firm “for professional services” at the cost of US$35,000 a month.