Selman lashes out at Opposition over budget cuts she supported

Selman lashes out at Opposition over budget cuts she supported

Although she was part of the opposition parties in parliament that used their joint majority to reduce the budget over the past three years, former APNU member Africo Selman is now using her new political platform to criticize the moves that she never objected to while in opposition.

Selman served as a Member of Parliament for the APNU up until the day before it was dissolved to make way for national elections. She has since switched sides and is now campaigning for the governing People’s Progressive Party.

The young school teacher appeared on the PPP’s Campaign stage on Sunday in Kitty and fired off at her old party and the budget cuts. She claimed that when she objected to the cuts, she was ignored by the APNU leadership.

In encouraging citizens to join her in throwing their support behind the PPP, Selman said “we do recall that budgetary allocations were cut by the combined opposition in the 10th parliament.” She went on to ask “Comrades, is that not a betrayal by the leadership of A Partnership for National Unity?  Isn’t that destruction of our country?”

But during the budget debates of 2012, 2013 and 2014, Selman was supportive of the same efforts by the Opposition to cut the budget and she voted along her party line and never publicly objected to any of the cuts.

During the budget debates of 2014, Selman criticized the PPP government  that she now supports, for not laying the groundwork for a better Guyana.  She said then that “if there is to be a better Guyana, we have to institute policies that will ensure that we build a strong economy through robust international economic relations. Budget 2014 fails to do that”.

In 2013, during the budget debates, Selman criticized the PPP for not supporting the opposition’s position on the need for a department that caters for members of the diaspora. She said then that “Instead of suggesting that criticism and expressions of concern are unpatriotic, government and the PPP would be better advised to take seriously the recommendations that have been made here and across the country”. She also said then that the APNU was supportive and interested in the progress of all the people of Guyana.

But on the Kitty platform on Sunday, Ms. Selman accused her former party of blocking the growth and development of women. She claimed that she left the party over verbal abuse by the party’s chief whip and that she feared physical abuse.

The APNU’s chief whip has since denied the accusations.

In 2011 during the election campaign, she accused then President Bharrat Jagdeo of “spewing lies” about the Opposition and lashed out at him for muzzling the media.

Appearing on the Walter Rodney Groundings TV show in May of 2011, Selman blasted the PPP administration and said “Guyanese by now are familiar with the tried and tested machinations of the PPP through the employment of willing house slaves, sycophants, puppets and yes men to terrorise particularly channel 6 and channel 9 into not airing legitimate views and opinions of citizens who have different opinions”.

Four years later, Selman found herself on the stage of the PPP with the same leaders she criticized over the past four years.

Filed: 31st March, 2015

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