‘As soon as I get money I am coming back to Guyana’ – Charrandass Persaud


Charrandass Persaud, the man who voted against his own Government and caused its collapse on December 21, has vowed to return to Guyana.

“As it is now, I am happy, and I am saying very happy that my effort to remove the Government was not wasted away.

“The Government has been removed and they must be removed because the court has so ordered,” Persaud told the News Room in an interview Thursday.

Hours after he voted to remove the Coalition Government, for which he served as a Member of Parliament for four years, Persaud took a flight to Canada where he has citizenship.

With the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) upholding the vote after a prolonged legal battle, Persaud, from Betsy Ground on the Corentyne Coast, plans to return home.

“I have done no wrong and so as soon as I can get money to come back I am coming back to Guyana,” Persaud declared.

Persaud’s vote caused a collapse of the Government and angered tens of thousands; he was labelled a Judas for betraying his own Government and there were yet allegations that he was paid for his vote. But he is not afraid of any risks that may be involved in his returning home.

“I can’t be afraid; I was never afraid. That night I was prepared to die,” he stated.

With the CCJ ruling, which has upheld the passage of the No Confidence vote, Persaud said it is what he wanted.

“I stood there as a proud Guyanese,” he said.

A main argument during the lengthy Court battle was whether Mr Persaud’s vote should have been counted because it went completely against the wishes of the Coalition; the judges of the CCJ dismissed that argument – Mr Persaud was under no obligation to vote with his party.

President of the Court, Justice Adrian Saunders stated: “Fealty to one’s party cannot override sworn allegiance to the Constitution and to the people of Guyana. Members of Parliament, should they so decide, and as long as they are willing to pay the political price, are not to be denied the freedom to vote according to the dictates of their conscience even in a proportional representation system.”

Justice Jacob Wit stated that those who cross the floor, or jump ship, probably in most cases do not always have the best of reasons for so doing, so there could be very valid reasons for anti-defection provisions in order to keep the Government stable and to ensure continuity of governance. But he said if those provisions threaten to become too strict, they may well lead to strangling whatever democratic fervour is left.

“But in any event, it is better to have an imperfect democracy than a strangled one.”

Justice Winston Anderson also added: “In the present proceedings there were no clear allegations made or proof provided that Mr Persaud knowingly and fraudulently deceived the people and the National Assembly of Guyana in his election to the National Assembly.”

By voting against his Government, Charrandass Persaud paid the ultimate price that the constitution seems to provide – being removed from the National Assembly – but not at all bothered by that.

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