PPP denounces `scandalous allegation’
Guyana Chronicle
June 25, 2004

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THE People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is appalled over attempts by the main Opposition PNCR to link it to the murder of self-confessed informant George Bacchus at his home in Georgetown early yesterday morning.

“This scandalous allegation of complicity on the part of the PPP/C administration in the George Bacchus murder comes just days after another accusation was made by the PNC in which it falsely accused a leading member of the PPP of attempting to bribe Mr. Bacchus in order to get him to retract earlier statements he had made regarding Home Affairs Minister Mr. Ronald Gajraj’s alleged involvement in death squad operations,” the PPP said in a statement.

It condemned the killing of Bacchus and called for an immediate police investigation into his death.

“This is all the more necessary in order to cut the ground from opposition elements bent on making political capital out of narrow partisan interests,” the PPP stated.

“The fact that the PNCR, within minutes of Mr. Bacchus’ death, issued a press statement in which it accused the PPP/C administration ‘of attempts to cover its tracks’, is clear evidence of the extent to which the incident could be exploited for narrow political advantage”, the party posited.

The PPP also stated categorically that at no time was it involved in any attempt to tamper with the investigative processes set up by President Bharrat Jagdeo.

In this regard, the PPP restated its total and unequivocal support for due process and adherence to the rule of law.

“Unlike the PNC which was guilty of inflicting some of the worst forms of human rights abuses and political killings during its dictatorial rule, the PPP has had a clean record of political accommodation and tolerance of opposition views,” it said.

“For the PNC therefore to accuse the ruling party of killing those who oppose the regime is not only mischievous but also libelous and defamatory,” the party added.

The PPP also indicated that it has found it “more than passing strange” that the PNC waited until the death of Mr. Bacchus to bring to the public domain information he allegedly made with respect to sworn affidavits allegedly made by Bacchus.

“One is left to wonder as to whether the PNCR is taking advantage of the dead in its nefarious attempt to indict the PPP/C administration in phantom charges over which there is no credible evidence,” the PPP contended.

The ruling party also called on the PNCR to “desist from making wild and unsubstantiated statements” regarding the death of Bacchus.

“Instead of making such incendiary statements, it should do the decent thing and bring whatever information it claims to have in its possession to the relevant authorities,” the party statement said.

The PPP also indicated that it is confident that such attempts by the PNCR would be seen for what these actually are - another attempt to discredit the party in the eyes of the local and international community.

“The PPP therefore calls on the people of Guyana not to allow themselves to be deceived by a group of power-hungry elements that is hell bent on sowing seeds of destruction and conflict in its desire to bring the government on its knees,” it said.

It also warned the PNCR that such efforts would not be countenanced by the people of Guyana and ought to be met with the full force of the law.