APNU/AFC blasts Speaker over “welcoming” of Charandass Persaud

The opposition APNU/AFC has blasted Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir for welcoming former Member of Parliament Charandass Persaud to Wednesday’s sitting of the National Assembly. Persaud, a former MP up to December 2018 when his controversial vote brought the then government down, was seen sitting among the seats reserved for guests.

While guests and visitors have been restricted from sittings due to COVID 19 public health measures, Persaud sat in the dome of the Arthur Chung Convention centre where sittings of the National Assembly are currently being held.

Speaker Nadir acknowledged Persaud as he welcomed the former MP to the sitting during Wednesday’s proceedings. Parliament of Guyana later posted a photo of the Speaker as he posed with Persaud, his lawyer MP Sanjeev Datadin and MP and government minister Deodat Indar.

The opposition accused the Speaker of shedding “any vestige of impartiality” in the conduct of the business of the National Assembly as the opposition said his welcoming of Persaud is a cause for concern, “Persaud is a member of the public just like any other citizen of Guyana. He is not entitled to special treatment nor does he enjoy any privileges in relation to the National Assembly,” the coalition said in its statement.

The APNU AFC also highlighted Persaud’s dual citizen which was the centre of court proceedings following his 2018 vote on the motion of no confidence, “It is to be recalled that the courts declared Persaudโ€™s membership of the Assembly an illegality, therefore the basis upon which the Nadir has laid out this red carpet welcome is unclear,” the opposition said.

The opposition called on the Speaker Nadir to remember his impartial role in the conduct of the business of the House as it urged him behave accordingly.