Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called out caretaker President David Granger for purporting achievements in many sectors under his Administration when reality paints a different picture.
The Head of State would have been called on several interviews in recent time, where he shared his position on trending matters. According to the Opposition Leader, the issue of unemployment, a high crime rate among other issues continue to pervade Guyana, even as the President claims differently.
“The reality doesn’t factor much in the things he says. It is something which I’m sure people across Guyana, by now, would have recognised…You know the reality of Guyana – high taxes, people lost jobs, there is an era of hopelessness, crime [and] other things are rampant. None of what he thinks is happening is really happening on the ground”.
The President would have further emphasised that he must be re-elected at the 2020 elections to carry out their “decade of development”.
Jagdeo, however, commented on these promises by asserting that there are no plans to execute this declaration. A similar position was shared on the coalition administration’s Green State Development Strategy.
“No policy to achieve that. No plan to achieve that. Not an iota of a strategy to achieve this decade of development…Secondly, he states in that context that ‘We have a green state strategy’. Now the Green State Strategy, we all know it’s an absolute waste of time. It’s just a declaration of intent grouped together. No plan there”.
The former Head of State added, “This just shows you how aloof again, how distant he is from the reality of what is really happening in the country and in his own Government. He speaks about plans that are non-existent and he believes that the people of this country must re-elect him simply because he has made certain declarations”.
Jagdeo also disagreed with the President’s opinion of the incumbent Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo.
“He says the PM is the principal assistant to the President. In fact, the PM Office is under the Presidency. There is no separate ministry for the PM… This is his view of the Prime Minister of Guyana. We have a totally different view. We believe that the Prime Minister has to work, first of all, can’t be in a sinecure position just to survive at the beckoned call of the President”.
In fact, the Opposition Leader compared the role of former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds under the PPP/C Administration, who was tasked with key developmental sectors.
“He has a separate ministry, separate staff. He had a portfolio. He discharged the responsibility as Prime Minister, as well as a Minister with a substantive portfolio. It used to be mining, then energy, telecommunications,” he shared.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader pointed his attention to the President’s claims that all aspects of the Cummingsburg Accord were fulfilled and abided, by outlining sections in their agenda which never happened. One key detail was the role of the Prime Minister in chairing Cabinet and aiding in ministerial appointments.
“He says they have fulfilled the Cummingsburg Accord, that they have maintained it and abided by it. It says that the Prime Minister shall be responsible for domestic affairs and chairing the Cabinet. That has not happened. Yet, they have abided by it and the Prime Minister is just his assistant. The Prime Minister would have been responsible for recommending ministerial appointments and providing organisational structure of Ministries…That has not happened”.
Meanwhile, key elements which were to be fulfilled, including the liberalisation of the communications sector, were never achieved. According to Jagdeo, the President should be questioned about these failures from the Government.
“They broke all the promises. They broke every single one of these promises but either way, the people of this country are getting shafted. That’s it. What bothers me, though, is that he’s not pressed on issues”.
Most recently, sugar workers came after the coalition administration for failing to raise their salaries, which was a promise made in 2015 during the elections campaign.
President of the Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU), Komal Chand, stated that the APNU/AFC coalition, since it took office five years ago, has done more harm than good to the thousands of persons employed in the sugar belt and that many persons continue to suffer as a result of the Administration’s actions or lack thereof.