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GUYANA – Legislator who brought down gov’t may have committed treason

A Brooklyn, New York group is claiming that the Member of Parliament (MP) who brought down the coalition government in Guyana many have committed treason.

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) said on Saturday that the legislator Charrandas Persaud, opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member Peter Ramsaroop and others “have been exuding confidence, if not arrogance, since the unconstitutional no confidence vote in Parliament on December 21.

“They believe that their attempted overthrow of the APNU+AFC coalition government will force a snap election, which they presume they can win,” said CGID in a statement. “But they may be mistaken. The no confidence vote appears to embody four significant breach of the law and is unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny.

“Additionally, the allegedly bribery of Charrandas Persaud, which is currently under police investigation, and other seemingly treasonous maneuverings, have angered and energized coalition government supporters and many other fair-minded, patriotic Guyanese of all races and ethnicities,” CGID added. 

CGID noted that Guyana Police Commissioner, Leslie James, disclosed on Thursday that the investigation of Persaud is “a matter of national security.” 

“Bribery of a public official is not a national security matter.  Consequently, the Police Commissioner’s disclosure may be an indication an all-encompassing treason investigation,” CGID said.

“The alleged conspirators appear to be discombobulated. They have been making incredulous, mendacious and contradictory public statements,” it added. “This is fodder to methodical and meticulous criminal investigators.”

CGID president, Guyanese Rickford Burke, an international law consultant, charged that Ramsaroop, “who accompanied Charrandas Persaud to the Ogle Airport to make good his escape, is now denying prior knowledge Persaud’s plan to vote with the PPP against the government.”

 “Persaud unmistakably and unequivocally stated that the only person he told prior to the vote and confided in was Peter Ramsaroop,” said Burke, adding that “there’s a second crime that may constitute treason.”

He said Persaud, an attorney at law, in his signed oath to be a candidate for elections, in the 2015 election, “denied under penalty of felony that he had pleaded allegiance to a foreign power and was a citizen of a foreign country. 

“This was a lie,” Burke charged. “He is a Canadian citizen.”

Under the previous PPP Government, when  Jagdeo was president, Burke noted that journalist Mark Benschop was “summarily arrested, charged and imprisoned for five years without a trial for treason. 

“All he did was criticized Jagdeo,” Burke claimed. “For this, he spent five years in solitary confinement in prison. 

“Now, in 2019, there is alleged prima facie evidence of high treason in the Charrandas Persaud matter,” he added. “Guyanese are watching how the police conduct its investigation of this conspiracy to overthrow the coalition government.”

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