…Opposition Leader urges Coalition Govt after ‘disappointing’ PNC Congress
By Michael Younge
Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday urged the new A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Coalition Government to immediately implement a menu of reforms, policies and legislative remedies that would positively impact the overall socioeconomic development of the country.
Jagdeo was at the time addressing a news conference in the boardroom of his party’s Freedom House headquarters when he underscored the importance of the Government ending its continuously repetitive and politically tinged rhetoric about delivering “change and development” to the people.
He said that since taking office in 2015, the Government has missed a series of opportunities to clearly pursue workable solutions that would reduce poverty, create jobs, boost public-private partnerships and revive the sluggish economy.
The Opposition Leader reasoned that policy-confusion and a lack of policy coordination on the part of the coalition Government has led to continuous setbacks and challenges.
Jagdeo also expressed his disappointment that the recently concluded congress of the People’s National Congress (PNC) failed to answer many of the burning questions in the minds of the populace about the direction that the country is heading since the coalition Government assumed Executive authority.
“I was very, very disappointed. I was hoping that out of the congress we would have had great clarity on where our country is going in the economic sense…greater clarity about cooperation and social cohesion as well as bringing people together…greater clarity on the development plans for Guyana,” the former President remarked.
Instead, Jagdeo said that President Granger – who is also the PNC leader – repeated the same normative themes about his plans and philosophy which mirrored those pursued by the Government of Forbes Burnham.
“2016 needs a new set of policies. It was my hope that those policies would be announced and spoken about at this congress….,” Jagdeo contended as he said that the speeches of the PNC leaders failed miserably to paint a clear futuristic outlook for Guyana beyond 2016.
The Opposition Leader did say that the PPP was supportive of the President’s goals to bridge the gap between hinterland and coastal development but advised the Government to utilise the billions of dollars from the Norwegian funds to fast-track community development.
According to him, the PPP was also supportive of advancing access to secondary education and creating a green economy but said that President Granger failed to define just how he planned to get these objectives achieved even though all of the financial and logistical resources are at his fingertips.
“And so we heard again the rhetoric of the President’s speech at the Congress…but no clear definitions…I was looking over the speeches over and over and not a single declarative statement,” he said while appearing to be frustrated.
The PNC Congress came to a close last weekend but Jagdeo is adamant that it is time to end the “gaffe” about progress and commence the process with “measurable actions and realistic policies”.