By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo provided just the showdown that was expected when they closed off the 2015 Budget Debates in the National Assembly on Friday night.
The two were joined by Finance Minister Winston Jordan providing the wrap up argument. It should be noted that at the end of his speech, Jagdeo and his PPP members walked out of the National Assembly before Nagamootoo and Jordan spoke.
In his speech, Jagdeo told the House that he could not believe that the Budget was conceptualized by Jordan and he is disappointed in the Finance Minister.
“Not a single thing has been done for the rice industry in this budget….If we want to move this country forward we need a budget that responds to the beds of the people,” said Jagdeo.
He criticized the government on several contentious issues and policies daring the new administration to affirm that there will be no salary increases for government Ministers above the public servants increase in the next five years.
“They have a Prime Minister today who has a lot of security but the reality is he is responsible for NCN, GINA and the Chronicle…This government has a fetish for new shiny things, cars, guards. Building new arches…please do not allow them to introduce a flag for region two…one flag, one anthem; that is it,” he said.
Jagdeo also laughed off a comment that likened him to King Kong as Finance Minister Jordan slammed him on “stupid economics.” As Jagdeo finished his budget speech declaring that the PPP will never be victims, the members of the PPP walked out of Parliament behind him in protest that the Opposition is being muzzled.
When the Prime Minister rose to speak, he indicated that effectively Jagdeo tried to school two men who have been writing speeches for him for years.
“He tried in a very bigoted way to lecture this House and to lecture to a man, the Minister of Finance who wrote his speeches and lecture; someone like me, Moses Nagamootoo who wrote his speeches,” said Nagamootoo.
He also told the House that the display was expected and nothing short of what was expected from the Former President.
“You have an Opposition that wants to masquerade as government because they have not accepted the reality that they have,” said PM.
He pointed out that while the PPP has been critical of the crime situation, it is important to note that the PPP while in government had a lot of questionable characters as friends.
Nagamootoo stated that most of these persons, including Roger Khan are now in prison. He said that while Jagdeo has criticized his security detail, the Former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds had 18 security guards.
Meanwhile, Jordan dismissed Jagdeo’s statements as “nonsensical ramblings.” He said that the constant harping and throwing back to 1992 is sickening.
“I may be a young Parliamentarian but I am an old head…is the same thing over and over…nothing speaks to the issues of the day and I am sick of it,” said Jordan.
He also said that he was surprised at the “sterility” of the speeches presented by Opposition members.