“We are not on a witch-hunt”-Irfaan Ali; political appointees “will have to face the music”- Juan Edghill

People’s Progressive Party Civic presidential candidate, Irfaan Ali

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is assuring that Police Commissioner and other top officers would not be fired should that party be officially declared winner of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

PPP presidential candidate, Dr. Irfaan Ali, speaking with reporters, assured that government employees would not be targeted if he and his political organisation are declared the winner of the March 2, 2020 general elections by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).     

“We are not on a witch-hunt.  We are not on any witch-hunting exercise. Let me make that very clear. We are going to act professionally. The Commissioner and his team have assured us that they would act professionally, they would continue to act professionally.  We hold the Commissioner to his commitment but we are not on witch-hunting exercise firing people and so,” Ali said on Wednesday when asked whether he would like to  see Police Commissioner, Leslie James leave the job.

Constitutionally, the Police Commissioner is not appointed by the Police Service Commission, but by the President.

Ally maintained that the Police Commissioner needs to examine his database of returning Guyanese as it might be “flawed” as he had provided inaccurate information to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) about whether more than 100 persons had been in Guyana on election day, March 2, 2020.


Ally’s assurances contrast strikingly with utterances by Juan Edghill, a vocal former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) parliamentarian and one-time prime ministerial candidate hopeful, who earlier this week even went as far as targeting the recent appointment of  Professor Paloma Mohammed-Martin as Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana. “This (Tuesday) morning we all woke up to  the news that there is a new Vice Chancellor at the University of Guyana. Strange but we woke up to that news and that’s the reality,” he said.

The publicly-funded University of Guyana is legally governed by a Council, not central government.

 Juan Edghill (file picture)

Edghill said public servants and heads of budget agencies would not be sanctioned. “You have nothing to fear with a PPPC administration,” referring to the PPPC’s 23 years in office when their jobs were secured,  and were awarded scholarships and received retirement benefits and gratuities. “We are coming in now and we will behave responsibly again.

Edghill, however, issued a stern warning to political appointees and he called on them to resign immediately. “The political types, the political appointees, the political hacks that went into these ministries in their droves and suppressed the professionalism of the public service and made the public service incapacitated and handicapped because of political control, you should all do the decent thing and resign before the new government comes into office,” he said.

He also cautioned those who are already contending that a new PPPC administration cannot “come after me” because they have legal employment and infrastructural contracts that those would reviewed because those were signed with a government lost a no-confidence motion and the general elections. “Let me put all those who have contracts signed today and yesterday and last week – let me put all of them on notice: You should have known that you should not have been signing no contract with a defeated government, with a government that is not properly in place and are caretakers and you will have to face the consequences and you will have to face the music,” he said. Edghill said those contractors could not be guaranteed because “everything that was awarded”  including after employment contracts after the no-confidence motion, dissolution of Parliament and general elections because “that is not how democracies operate.” He advised them to scrap those employment contracts.

Edghill, a former Junior Finance Minister, said ministers would review every contracts and decisions made by accounting officers from December 2018 when the no-confidence motion was passed through to elections and until the election results are declared, expectedly, in June, 2020. “We will have to determine what will be allowed and will be disallowed because illegality cannot stand and illegality should not be allowed to continue unchecked,” he said.

He warned public servants  against taking instructions from members of the outgoing administration would be illegal.

The PPP, while in office, had been accused of discrimination mainly against Afro-Guyanese who make up the bulk of the public service.

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  • guyaneseonline  On 06/12/2020 at 7:53 am

    “Allow our working people to breathe” – Prime Minister Nagamootoo
    Jun 11, 2020 Government, News, Office of the Prime Minister

    — reprimands opposition member Bishop Juan Edghill on statements

    DPI, Guyana, Thursday, June 11, 2020
    Prime Minister, Hon. Moses Nagamootoo has deemed the statements made by People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) member, Bishop Juan Edghill as the “most diabolical threat” to public servants.

    The Prime Minister was at the time addressing the comments made by the Opposition member regarding job security of persons who were contracted under the Coalition during their time in office.

    “I am appalled that a politician can come forward and threaten public servants in such a crass and crude way,” the Prime Minister Nagamootoo stated.
    He posited that the comments made by the opposition member were directed to those contractual agreements made after December 2018. The Prime Minister added that this is a threat to “the livelihood of the people of this country and should not be taken lightly.”

    Prime Minister Nagamootoo also pointed t the fact that Edghill in his comments also sought to attack recently appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr. Paloma Mohamed, the country’s first woman to hold the position.
    “Bishop Edghill should immediately withdraw those remarks which are not only an attack again the University’s Vice-Chancellor, but all women of Guyana who have aspired to break the glass ceiling and have emerged as we have seen in Guyana right now,” he remarked citing other women who hold high-level offices in the country such as the Chief Justice and the Chief Magistrate.

    He called on the opposition member to desist from making such remarks and “allow our working people to breathe.”

  • Curtis  On 06/12/2020 at 7:59 am

    Well Well Well…..not even sworn into office but already making threats!!! Pay attention Guyanese…”you don’t take candle to see in the night what you can see in the day”.

  • guyaneseonline  On 06/12/2020 at 8:07 am

    PPP adding fuel to an already charged political atmosphere – Harmon
    Jun 11, 2020 Government, Ministry of the Presidency, News

    DPI, Guyana, Thursday, June 11, 2020

    The job security of all public servants is fully protected under the Coalition Government, former Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency and APNU+ AFC Campaign Manager Joseph Harmon has assured.

    In a televised statement aired this evening, Harmon addressed the recent statements made by some PPP executives.

    Harmon noted that yesterday, in a video which was shown on several social media platforms, the PPP member Bishop Juan Edghill could be heard threatening the job security of the country’s public servants.

    On other occasions, both the PPP’s General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo and Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali also attempted to disparage the government’s prestige and ability; respectively stating that government workers are safe under a PPP government, and that should the PPP returns to office, then there would be no witch-hunting.

    Harmon said these statements have created anxiety among the nation’s hard-working public servants whose loyalty is not to a political party, but the government of the day.

    “Mr. Edgill who seems to be the voice of the PPP/C to address certain issues is adding fuel to an already charged political atmosphere,” he noted.

    Harmon posited that Edgill’s statement was a “dis-service” to the opposition and that he should vent his frustration on some other platform.

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