Charrandas Persaud, an Attorney-at-law, sent shockwaves throughout the country Friday night when he voted emphatically in favour of the No-Confidence motion brought by the Opposition Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP).
His vote effectively handed the PPP the one vote they needed to win the No-Confidence motion. The PPP has 32 Members and the Government side, with Mr Persaud, has 33.
On March 16, Citizens Report, an online entity linked to the PPPP reported that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had “trashed” Mr Persaud over comments he made on Facebook.
“…those of you who go on TV complaining about your children being kept away from school because you were laid off from GuySuCo (Guyana Sugar Corporation) should be charged for keeping them away,” Persaud is reported to have said in the post.
Jagdeo retorted: “You can prosecute people if they have means to send children to school and (in this case) they can’t.”
Mr Persaud represented Region Six in the National Assembly and is a member of the Alliance for Change (AFC) which joined with the coalition of five parties in APNU to contest and win the May 2015 general and regional elections.
He became a Parliamentarian in May 2015 when the new Government was sworn in.
“This is the only time in three and half years as a Parliamentarian that I voted according to my conscience.
“All the other votes I took was according to party lines because I am an AFC man and a party man, I voted in favour of anything the Government wanted much to my dislike on some occasions.”
“…I have a conscience, it is now clear.”
In September 2013, the Stabroek News reported that Persaud left the AFC because he was treated as “second class and taken for granted.”
He lamented that the AFC had failed to recognise the contribution he in attracting supporters for the party in Berbice.
However, two months later he appeared at a AFC press conference and claimed that he never tendered a resignation.
“I never resigned from the AFC and I will never resign, not until and unless the PPP is out of office,” he stated then.
Following his vote Friday night, Mr Persaud said he would resign as a Member of Parliament.
“I am extremely disappointed in the AFC team,” he stated.
Following are other comments Mr Persaud made after the vote.
“My reason for voting today in the favour of the No-Confidence is because I have no confidence in what the AFC team is doing.
“We are sitting in Parliament as Yes men to the APNU and we are AFC, we have not blended with the APNU; the other parties have, we have not.
“We have not blended.
“Why are we doing everything they want us to do like passing (former) Prime Minister Hamilton Green’s pension bill?
“That man is getting favours from the PNC, not from us.
“Why are we giving him tax payers money? And we voted for that, we are not opposing anything or saying not to anything and that is what the problem is.
“I can’t stand that.
“There are times when you have to vote according to your conscience and not because of party affiliation. This is a conscience vote and I am not a PPP member, I am not affiliated to the PPP, this is not because of the PPP.
“This is because my conscience is now clear.
“My life may not go but you know what, I will die happy person and with a clear god damn conscience,
“I have not spoken to that man (Bharrat Jagdeo) about anything. All he says is hello to me if he in Parliament.”
He said that a Government minister was sitting in the cafeteria at Parliament and threatened to kill anyone who crosses the floor.