… Like the Foreign Service shaking looms
Charandas Persaud, a former Coalition for Change (AFC) senator whose break with the previous Government made them tackle power through a No Confidence Motion (NCM) in 2018, is tipped to be High Guyana’s new commissioner for India.
According to a well-placed source, Persaud’s appointment along with the appointment of several other key diplomats is likely to be announced soon, as the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government seeks to fill various diplomatic posts and shake up the foreign service. looms.
The previous High Commissioner for India was Ambassador David Pollard. Prior to Pollard, Guyana’s former Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj, held that position until 2015, when the Partnership for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) came into effect.
Guyana and India, which established bilateral relations in 1966 following Guyana’s Independence, have strong diplomatic and economic ties that are reinforced by several high-level deals brokered through India’s diplomatic presence in Guyana.
One such project is the Ogle-Diamond bypass project, which will see a total of 26 kilometers of road being built, connecting two of the country’s main thoroughfares. This new road link will also be connected to key communities in Georgetown and along Demerara East Bank. These include Diamond, Mocha and Eccles – all on the East Bank – and Aubrey Barker Road in Georgetown. These links will be vital in diverting traffic.
Work is currently underway on the new alternative road linking Diamond and Eccles to ease traffic congestion. The new alternative road will run from Sixth Avenue, Diamond to Windsor Estate Road leading to the Eccles Landfill Road. This will form a link through the new Herstelling Housing Scheme and other schemes being developed along the EBD corridor.
These projects are part of the Indian-funded Bypass Project that would link the East Bank Demerara corridor with the Demerara East Coast, creating a new highway in the hinterland, for which the Government of India had provided US $ Credit Line 50 million for it (LOC).
But other innovative projects funded by the Indian Government, such as the Expert Hospital Project, which had been in dispute since its initial phase, did not start from the ground.
The US $ 18 million project, which was funded by the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM) through a line of credit (LOC), was dropped in 2016 after the contract was taken by the contracted company, Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited – by the coalition Ministry. – was listed on the World Bank until 2020 for fraud and corruption practices.
The former APNU / AFC Government subsequently declared the project “dead”. Former Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam described this project as his biggest disappointment.
Charandas Persaud, for his part, has been living in Canada since fleeing Guyana under the pressure of death threats immediately after he used his conscience vote to side with the PPP during the NCM on December 22, 2018.
The former APNU / AFC Government argued mercilessly but unsuccessfully, first in the National Assembly and then in the High Court, that the motion was not validly passed. Among their arguments was that the majority of 65 was not 33 and that Charandas Persaud was not eligible to be in Parliament because he held dual citizenship with Canada.
They were successful in the Court of Appeal, which overturned the no confidence vote. All the while, the constitutional deadline came in March 2019, by which time Granger should have called elections, expired. But the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which upheld the passage of the No Confidence Motion, justified Persaud.
However, the former APNU / AFC Government found other ways to delay election demand, including through the use of House to House Registration. Meanwhile, under the old Government, a Guyana Police (GPF) investigation into Persaud was pursued and bribed to vote as it did.
This inquiry has never gone anywhere and there are many who have speculated that it is politically motivated. Persaud returned to Guyana only after the Government changed hands, making an appearance during a sitting of the National Assembly in October last year. (G3)