The long awaited press conference held by the President, David Granger with the media last week has been described as a major disappointment by the Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who says that no sort of clarity was provided to the Guyanese people who are in desperate need of guidance, leadership and direction.
“So much time has elapsed since the last press conference that everyone had great, high expectations of this press conference- that we would receive clarity on several issues that the country has been begging for guidance and leadership and direction for very long time and so who best to give clarity about his Government’s policy than the President, and so the country was waiting, as I said before, with bated breath…How much clarity [did] we [get]?,” Jagdeo questioned on Thursday during his weekly press conference.
Last week’s press conference with President Granger was recorded as only the third one since the APNU-AFC Government took power in 2015.
Jagdeo has been recorded in the media often calling out the President on this, asserting that it’s a clear indication that the Guyanese Leader is “abdicating his responsibilities.”
“He claimed that he was busy… travelling quite a lot and have to deal with domestic issues, petroleum and sugar industry…and crime…He shamelessly cites the Petroleum industry [when there are so many unanswered questions]. What is he dealing with in the Sugar Industry? [He] laid off thousands of people, there’s no social safety net, people can’t feed their families…they raised $30B through SPU and not saying what they will spend the money on…The President has been addressing the sugar industry so much that he can’t even name a board…but he’s busy…When this country is being ravaged on a daily basis by criminals and we have a hopelessly misguided British consultant…We don’t see any specific measures being rolled out…They can’t move ahead with the appointment of a substantive Police Commissioner,” Jagdeo had chided earlier this year.
Prior to that, the the Guyana Press Association (GPA) and other groups, have urged Granger to meet with the press.
These groups have also criticized Government for its silence on a number of matters of national importance, calling on the President to toughen up and face the entire local media corps.
The GPA had acknowledged that the President was not averse to speaking with the media on the side-lines of public events or during his “Public Interest” televised programme; however, the Association said that they believe that accountability to the Guyanese people would be best served through press conferences.
Most recently, when probed on his reason for limited media engagements, Granger had asserted that the duties of a President are “burdensome” and so he is unable to meet with the local press as frequently as he would like.
A position he maintained during his third press conference.