“Parroted” position by US-nominated UN candidate on corruption not based on any evidence or facts – Pres Ali

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali during his televised address

President Dr Irfaan Ali has called out United States-nominated candidate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Laurence Helfer on his question about corruption against Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, saying that the reference to corruption was not based on any evidence or facts ,but was more or less a parroted position by an individual on the committee.

The Head of State told this publication on Tuesday evening that “this issue was not raised as a substantive matter by the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. An individual member, who is obviously fed with the propaganda of Opposition, operatives raised a query in line with the narrative of the Opposition trying to paint the Government in a particular light.”

According to Ali, unfortunately, Helfer found himself in a trap the Opposition – the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) – used historically against the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government.

US-nominated UN candidate, Laurence HelferI

“Recall the countless public calls about corruption, none of which could have been proven under the five years of the APNU/AFC. What the Opposition does is to find conduits through which their messaging can infiltrate international institutions; in this case, trying to use this individual position to derail the two days of positive review Guyana had at the Committee itself,” President Ali said.

He noted that as a Government “we are committed to the high value of every institution of the UN and will continue to actively participate”.

According to the President, it is interesting that the “very individual did not mention the fact that the very persons making the complaints individually and collectively tried to steal the elections in Guyana and derail democracy. We invite all members of the Committee to verify every allegation with the facts, evidence and the truth; that is all we ask.”

During the UN’s 140th Session of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, before which Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira appeared virtually, Helfer asked about public frustration over the alleged failure on Guyana’s part to investigate reports of corruption against the Vice President, Police Officers and members of the Judiciary.

In response ,Teixeira made it clear that there was no formal report made to the Guyana Police Force about allegations of corruption against Jagdeo.

“There is no follow-up, because there was no Police report made by Vice News or anybody else. So, the Police cannot investigate without some form of report or complaint,” Teixeira said at the UN meeting on Monday.

In 2022, United States-based media outlet VICE News aired a feature titled “Guyana for Sale” that contained allegations against Jagdeo, but while it was deemed an “exposé”, it failed to implicate Jagdeo in bribery.

Jagdeo has, on numerous occasions, denied the allegations and has said on several occasions that the documents he submitted to the Integrity Commission could dismantle any corruption allegations against him.