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GPA calls out Jagdeo for embarking on campaign to discredit the Association

SEE BELOW THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE GUYANA PRESS ASSOCIATION (GPA): 

The General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, who is also Guyana’s Vice President, during his recent press conferences has been using these opportunities to forge ahead with his government’s campaign to discredit the Guyana Press Association (GPA).

Delayed elections: The GPA’s May 14th, 2023 elections suffered a protracted delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the protracted 2020 general elections process that affected many facets of national life. The GPA’s previously held election for office bearers was on January 7, 2018.

Registration of THE GPA: It is typical for Mr. Jagdeo to side-step all information available to him and to use selectively information he feels will discredit an individual and/or organisation. Mr. Jagdeo’s disinformation campaign conveniently failed to acknowledge that GPA’s Business Registration was first done in the name of Neil Marks since 2015 following an executive decision.

Is there a reason Mr. Jagdeo is omitting that publicly stated fact in his unvarnished preferential attack?

In fact, the GPA’s records show that significant progress had been made prior to the GPA’s elections this month to regularise our systems.

Eligibility of Ms. Nazima Raghubir: The GPA sought legal advice on whether Ms. Raghubir could have legitimately contested the position for President, having regard to the fact that she was elected in 2018 and remained in office until 2023 due to the pandemic and the 2020 general election fiasco. That advice essentially stated that she was elected once and her term ended at the next election, notwithstanding the delayed elections.

Conclusion: The government, through Mr. Jagdeo, has signaled its intention to continue its attack on the GPA and the free press. The GPA will continue to engage all, including the government in the interest of our members and freedom of the press.

Coming from Mr. Jagdeo who banned a journalist from covering his assignments at State House and Office of the President, withholding government advertisements from Stabroek News and suspending CNS TV ‘Sharma’ television station, Guyanese generally and the media in particular, including those aligned to his party and government, cast severe doubt on his sincerity about press freedom.

The success of numerical democracy is augmented by tolerance and good governance. That’s what the GPA is doing, hence its broad-based representation.

The GPA denounces all forms of intimidation and attacks on the media and calls on President Mohamed Irfaan Ali to stay true to his government’s commitment to the Media Freedom Coalition.

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