General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Dr Bharrat Jagdeo believes that some of the decisions taken by the coalition Government since its assumption to office has been repressive and anti-people and is having a severe effect on the lives on many Guyanese.
He noted that the APNU/AFC polices are working to reverse the pro-poor policies set by his party’s founder Dr Cheddi Jagan.
Addressing an audience which comprised veteran politicians and members of the diplomatic corps on Tuesday evening at Red House, Jagdeo said that Jagan worked hard to bring relief to poor and middle class Guyanese.
“We have seen some trends of this Government for the three years they have been in office that has caused a lot of worry for many people. The first is the dismantling of the pro-poor policies of the PPP, whether in the housing sector, taxation on basic food items, water, and electricity,” he stated, while outlining that ironically the same situation prevails for the private sector.
“One would think that with no pro-poor policies that they [APNU/AFC] will be pro-private sector but paradoxically, they are also dismantling the environment in which the private sector thrived in the past,” he added.
He claimed that in addition to implementing a slew of taxes, there is now constant harassment of the business community, where there is no longer much dynamism in the sector. “If you do a survey of the business sector you would find that they are all speaking with gloom about the future,” he said.
Another trend of the coalition Government, according to Jagdeo, is the blatant attempt to reverse the democratic gains of the country. “So Parliament and the separation of powers, sometimes the unilateral or arbitrary interpretation of the President of the Constitution and the laws of Guyana.”
Jagdeo also pointed to what he described as decisive politics being displayed by the current Government. He referred to the example where hundreds of Amerindians in various hinterland communities had their jobs taken away from them that were created under the PPP Administration.
He also referred to a series of broken promises made by the Government that they are yet to fulfill.
Referring back to the struggles made by Dr Jagan, Jagdeo said that the bravery, resilience and hard work of the former President must never be forgotten. He noted also that ever since the PPP was formed by Jagan, it has been an all-inclusive party, which has welcomed people of all walks of life to join.
According to Jagdeo, it is no different today although people would from time to time question the ideology of the party. He said while the major question is whether the PPP is departing from socialism, he said that Jagan’s polices will never die in the party and therefore there is room for everyone.
Reflecting on the struggles that Jagan made to return free and fair elections to Guyana, Jagdeo directed his attention to the diplomatic corps explaining that the biggest fear in the minds of many Guyanese is whether the coalition would tamper with the election process in 2020.
Jagdeo said that the diplomatic community has an important role to play in ensuring that there continues to be free and fair elections in Guyana. While noting that this is a genuine concern, he urged his party supporters to work harder to ensure this doesn’t happen, and never to give up hope.
This year (March 22) marks the 100th birth anniversary of the late Dr Jagan who is widely regarded in Guyana as the ‘Father of the Nation’ because of the role he played in fighting for Guyana’s independence.