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PNM condemns race talk on ILP platform

Published: 
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Chaguanas West By-Election

The Opposition PNM has condemned what it describes as the “most unfortunate display of naked discrimination on Jack Warner’s Independent Liberal Party (ILP) platform” in statements by Guyanese speaker Jailall Kissoon. Kissoon has been removed from the ILP’s list of speakers for tonight’s meeting after he liberally used the term “coolie” and other racial language during his speech at an ILP meeting on Tuesday endorsing Warner for Monday’s Chaguanas West by-election. 

 

Warner subsequently apologised for Kissoon’s remarks. On Thursday, PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi said: “We indeed condemn a most unfortunate display of naked discrimination on Mr Warner’s platform on Tuesday. “The PNM remains convinced the UNC and Mr Warner are intent upon conducting this campaign in any manner they think will give them a fillip for victory. “We in PNM will take no part in any behaviour of that type and we wish to condemn any form of discrimination or divisiveness in our society. 

 

“We will always conduct our campaign with dignity, decorum and class and stand wholeheartedly behind our clean competent Avinash Singh, the best choice for Chaguanas West.” However, ILP supporter, UNC backbencher Herbert Volney, said he did not believe Kissoon’s presentation would be detrimental to Warner’s final push. He said: “I don’t think it will hurt ILP’s campaign. People have already made up their minds.

 

“When I heard the statements I thought them wholly inappropriate and I expected Mr Warner would have done what he did subsequently, which was to remove him from his frontline platform and apologise for those intemperate remarks. “I don’t think Mr Warner would have had Kissoon’s text so he can’t be blamed or held against him.”

 

On whether Warner, as party leader, should have known his speakers and what they might say, and whether this cast any aspersion on his judgments on choosing Kissoon, Volney said: “I still don’t think Jack is to be blamed. He did what he had to do and ended the situation. “Sometimes people leave their texts out and ad lib, the PM’s the most famous one for doing that.”

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