President’s ‘royal power’ will be taken away, Hughes promises at APNU+AFC rally

President’s ‘royal power’ will be taken away, Hughes promises

April 8, 2015 | By | Filed Under News
AFC Executive Nigel Hughes addressing the gathering.

AFC Executive Nigel Hughes addressing the gathering

…as thousands turn up for APNU+AFC rally post Nomination
With A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) having presented its lists of candidates, thousands of supporters marched through central Georgetown yesterday afternoon, escorting their leadership to Independence Park for their first post-Nomination Day rally.

AFC executive Nigel Hughes, addressing the milieu of gold and green, reminded those gathered of the historical significance of the ground. He also called for a moment of silence in reflection of all who had lost their lives in the process of fighting for freedom. 

‘It has been a long and painful journey. And we have lost brothers and sisters along the way. We lost Shaka Blair. We lost Ronald Waddell. We lost over 400 sons and most recently we lost Courtney (Crum-Ewing).”

Citing the prorogation of parliament as one instance of misuse of presidential power, he called for the curtailing of such prerogatives.
“There are some fundamental things we have to do so that we do not backslide again. And one of these is to change the Constitution!”
“We must understand what about the Constitution has led us to where we are. Never again must we vest in any head of state the powers of a king or the powers of a queen. Because it is only kings and queens who don’t have to answer to the people. Once we elect a president, he must be liable to us and he must not be a minority president!
“Any President must be a majority president. And we must change the Constitution so that never again will a president wake up one morning and when the people say we have no confidence in you, he removes the parliament.  No more prorogation by any king!”

Hughes reminded the gathering that there was more to be done, and that to be complacent at this junction was a mistake. He related the importance of preserving unity.
“How are we going to protect this unity? Unless we can protect this unity we will end up exactly where we were last year and four years ago. We would have failed our foreparents who gave their blood and died to see this day of unity.”

“We have made many missteps in the past. We have distrusted ourselves and our neighbours. But now that we have this opportunity, we have to show humility. We have to show that we are strong and committed. We have to demonstrate that we will fight, come what may, to protect this unity.
“And I have news for you. If you thought Courtney Crum-Ewing was provocative, in the next 34 days you will see even more provocation!” Hughes exclaimed, much to the crowd’s approval.
“We have to be our brother’s keepers, because they will attack our brothers and sisters. They will try to drive wedges between us, because we are facing a desperate regime…a regime that understands that we have only changed Governments once in fifty years. That is our failing as a people.”

Hughes also touched on some of the controversial projects undertaken by the administration, “in the name of conservation and economic progress”.
“The future of this country does not depend on giving away large tracts of land to people to develop it, when we can develop it ourselves!”
“How is it possible that the sons and daughters of slaves and indentured servants can sit down and be told that, while foreign nations are given hundreds of thousands of acres to cut trees, when we can cut trees? There is no magic in protecting the environment. We as citizens can protect the environment. We don’t need any foreign powers telling us how to manage our resources.”

“How dare someone tell me, in 2015, that they have to give us a house lot, which we paid for, like if they are doing us a favour? We have already paid, through our foreparents, for every square inch of this country!”
Hughes did not spare himself or his colleagues in the opposition. He assured the gathering that they were also accountable and thus the citizenry must never allow them to misuse their office.
Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM) chairman Ryan Belgrave also addressed the gathering, condemned the PPP/C for its failed youth initiatives.
AFC youth leader Trevor Williams also spoke to the crowd. Wielding his ID card, he urged citizens to ensure that they were on the list of electors in their respective communities. He also led the masses in a rendition of the ‘vote like a boss’ pledge.

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  • guyaneseonline  On 04/10/2015 at 3:23 am

    Commentary: According to the US government the criminal was in Bharrat Jagdeo’s Cabinet
    Published on April 7, 2015 caribbeannewsnow.com
    By Rickford Burke

    On March 31, 2015, the Kaieteur News newspaper, in an article captioned “Police note PPP speakers’ comments on Crum-Ewing murder,” reported that “Former President Jagdeo suggested that Crum-Ewing might have been killed to boost the opposition elections campaign.”

    The article also stated, “Speaking at the People’s Progressive Party’s rally in Kitty, Jagdeo said that Crum-Ewing, a former army officer, could have been killed for the PNC to send their messages of racism… and that the police need to find out urgently who did this and I am telling you if they do that, you would probably be shocked to find out who killed this guy.”

    First, Bharrat Jagdeo has publicly admitted to being in possession of information that can assist the police in a homicide investigation. Hence, it would be negligent for the police to fail to interrogate him. The laws of Guyana apply to everyone. I therefore call on the Crime Chief of the Guyana Police Force to immediately question Mr Jagdeo, who apparently has information that can assist in the capture and prosecution of Mr Crum-Ewing’s killers.

    Second, last week at a political rally, President Donald Ramator referred to Courtney Crum-Ewing as a “nuisance” and likened him to a “criminal.” The Guyana Bar Association instantly condemned Mr Ramotar’s comments, saying, “The murder of activist Courtney Crum-Ewing has undermined Guyana’s democracy, contributing to a cycle of fear and President Donald Ramotar’s attempt to liken him to a criminal is ill-advised.”

    Third, suffice to say that Mr Ramotar’s comments established the prima facie motive for Mr Crum-Ewing’s assassination. He was a “nuisance” to the PPP government – said the president.

    Fourth, I proffer to the Caribbean community and the world that, according to President Ramotar, urging fellow citizens to vote against the PPP government of Guyana is a nuisance – a crime – for which citizens are killed like dogs by mercenaries for the regime against which the victims urged that the franchise be exercised.

    Fifth, it is disgraceful for both President Donald Ramotar and Bharrat Jagdeo, while standing at the husting dripping in red – their party’s colour – like the lynchers of our ancestors – to defile the character of a murder victim who was assassinated in the exercise of his democratic right. Worst, they have done so while his family; including young children, are in mourning and bereavement. They have no decency or class. Their conduct is a reprobate and odious repudiation of human civilization. It must be denounced everywhere and by all.

    Sixth, Bharrat Jagdeo knows “a thing or two” about the raison d’être of political assassinations and murders of young black men. He and his government have allegedly been complicit in the Phantom Death Squad‘s calculated murder of over 400 young men in Guyana. These extra-judicial killings engendered a sea of national and international outrage, which forced Jagdeo, as president, to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. An investigation conducted by United Nations Special Rapporteur for Minority Rights, Gay McDougall, established such extrajudicial killings. Bharat Jagdeo is on record as defending the head of this said death squad, convicted drug baron Roger Khan.

    Seventh, the Phantom Death Squad allegedly functioned under the direction of Jagdeo’s Cabinet National Security Minister, Ronald Gajraj. The Guyanese nation must be reminded that, despite Gajraj’s alleged suspicious and known unlawful activities, Jagdeo refused to fire and prosecute him.

    Eighth, on April 12, 2005, spokesman for the US Department of State, Ambassador Richard Boucher, in a statement said, “The United States is concerned by the government of Guyana’s decision to reinstate former Home Minister Ronald Gajraj…. A Guyanese commission of inquiry looking into his links to the so-called “phantom death squad” has found serious procedural irregularities in his official conduct related to his involvement with individuals who allegedly carried out extra-judicial killings…. We believe significant questions remain unanswered regarding his involvement in serious criminal activities…”

    Ninth, after the US government forced Gajraj to resign, Jagdeo immediately appointed him ambassador to India and whisked him off under the suspicious cloud of “diplomatic immunity”. However, the arch of the International Criminal Court and US Justice Department are long but bends towards justice!

    Tenth, it is time that all those murder victims and their families receive justice!

    It is time that Bharrat Jagdeo, Donald Ramotar and the PPP explain who are the ”criminals” and why a criminal was in the cabinet? When they do, the nation might be surprised!
    Rickford Burke is the President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID

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