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Helping Charrandass flee Guyana in 2018 was the right thing- Departing Canadian High Commissioner

Departing Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee in her interview with BIG Smith News Watch’s Leroy Smith

Outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana Her Excellency Lilian Chatterjee said that Charrandass vote of no confidence against the David Granger led administration back in 2018 was a sad occasion but that her country was duty-bound to offer him protection.

The Canadian Diplomate was at the time responding to questions from BIG Smith News Watch Editor Leroy Smith about the role of Canada and herself in the events leading up to Charrandass voting pattern in December 2018. The High Commissioner was at the time being interviewed for Focus, a BIG Smith on-camera pre-recorded show.

“We are comfortable that we did the right thing but in no way did we know ahead of time that he was going to defeat the government and that was just again… a sad occasion,” High Commissioner Chatterjee told BIG Smith News Watch.

The diplomate told this publication at the time of the no-confidence vote, she was out of the country and that her second in command was also unaware of the intended voting pattern of Charrandass Persaud. It was put to the High Commissioner that many Guyanese, especially APNU+AFC supporters and members that both herself and country knew Charrandass would have voted with the then Opposition’s People’s Progressive Party Civic.

“Well, I emphatically deny that. We did not know, I certainly never met Charrandass Persaud, to this day I have never met him, I was out of the country and my Chargé d’Affaires was totally unaware she was contacted by him after the defeat of the government, he told her that he is a Canadian Citizen, his life was in danger and he is asking for consular protection” Chatterjee explained.

Helping Charrandass flee Guyana in 2018 was the right thing- Departing Canadian High Commissioner
Charrandass Persaud

Following the vote of no-confidence and the public accusation that the Canadian High Commission help Charrandass exit Guyana, the David Granger administration called contacted the commission to provide answers on its role in the entire process.

“We are duty bound to provide service to Canadian Citizens who are in these situation and we were totally supported by our government and minister for the doing the right thing and I explained to the Granger administration that has we not provided consular protection and something had happened to him, the headlines in Canada would have been that Canada refused a Canadian citizen in need.. that is not a headline you want in Canada where we would have turned down somebody who might have been harmed afterward… so we did the right thing,” High Commissioner Chatterjee told BIG Smith News Watch.

Charrandass Persaud at the time of his vote to defeat the David Granger administration in a PPP brought no-confidence motion in 2018 was sitting on the government side of the house in the National Assembly.

His vote which tossed the APNU+AFC Coalition government on it’s face would have effectively triggered snap elections within three months but that was not done and government moved to the courts challenging several aspects of the vote including that it was done by a dual citizen and that the calculation was of seats in the National Assembly did not effectively provide a majority of votes to topple the government. Those were all thrown out.

The elections were eventually held more than a year after and the Peoples Progressive Party Civic ultimately emerged the winner based on the votes counted in the National Recount process.