By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Presidential Candidate of the Opposition coalition, David Granger and former Finance Minister, now APNU Member Carl Greenidge came in for heavy criticism from former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who made no qualms in vilifying their track record.
At a news conference at Freedom House, Jagdeo said that Greenidge has an “abysmal track record” while he was Finance Minister under the Burnham and Hoyte administration.
Both men have been challenged by Jagdeo to step forward and make their connections known to a number of gloomy past events.
“They get a free pass because they are shielded by some elements in the media from accounting for their record, so if you are asking the people of this country to trust you because you are new leadership, then you have to have enough faith and trust in them to account for your record and Greenidge has a record which is an abysmal one,” the former President said.
He described Greenidge’s period in office as the country’s Finance Minister as the worst in Guyana’s history.
“In the 10 years Greenidge was Finance Minister, he never once submitted an audited statement for the public accounts of this country to the National Assembly. He is the biggest presence and person who talks most about accountability today.”
Meanwhile, Jagdeo raised the issue of army weapons which were issued to R. Corbin, the Ministry of National Development and other external agencies in the late 1970’s, during the time that Granger played a leadership role in the Guyana Defence Force.
“Granger was there when Walter Rodney was killed. Should he not say something about this to the country before you aspire to high office?” Jagdeo questioned.
Jagdeo also claimed that Granger while in the Army, wrote letters to the press stating that East Indians are not suitable for the army.
“Granger was Commander in the Army, he was a confidant of the President at that time, he was placed in the army in a political capacity, not as a regular solider, solider. He was the politician in the Army, he was one of the authors of the paramount of the Party over the state doctrine practiced in that period; in fact he wrote extensively defending it, he wrote several times in the media that Indians are not suited for the Army.”
Jagdeo noted that if this was another country, Granger would not have been able to run and questioned why focus of accountability is only aimed towards the PPP.
“He needs to answer for that past…it seems as though we are the only ones who have to be accountable for our actions.”
According to Jagdeo, the Opposition Leader goes back to the period where democracy was under threat for inspiration.
“You don’t hear them talk about the future, what are the things they are going to do to generate the wealth of the future, how we’re going to get there and how young people are going to be involved. You constantly hear about features of the past.”
Jagdeo said Granger is out of touch with reality since he refuses to accept that during the Forbes Burnham era elections were rigged. He also criticized the coalition’s Prime Ministerial Candidate, Moses Nagamootoo for siding with Granger in this regard.
“Granger says there was no rigged elections in this country and you sit at the same table with the person next to you that says this is not true and all of your life Nagamootoo you have fought against rigged elections and then you believe that the person will keep his promise to you,” Jagdeo told the news conference.