Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday said the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) will not honour any deals done during this period to privatize assets of the divested Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), if the Party is to return to office.
“We will not recognize any deals, that’s not the routine, when I spoke about the routine functioning of Government, it doesn’t involve privatization now. Any privatization done in this period with a Government that has fallen, a Government that should have resign, a Government that is operating in a caretaker capacity would be seen as an illegal arrangement“ Jagdeo said at his press conference on Thursday.
According to Opposition Leader, the United Kingdom Company, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, that is currently conducting a valuation of Guysuco’s assets, should cease its work since the government now is in a caretaker role having fallen to a No-Confidence motion back in December.
“Which investor is going to want to come now and sign a deal with a fallen Government unless you are one of those underhand type of people who think you can get a quick lucrative deal before the new Government gets in” Jagdeo posited.
In 2017, government announced plans to minimize the local sugar industry with only three estates in operation, and divest the corporation’s remaining assets. Since then several entities have expressed interest in acquiring the assets.
However, Jagdeo pointed out that instead of selling off, steps should be taken to resuscitate the industry in full capacity so that the over 14,000 workers who were laid off can start to earn again.
Afterwards, Jagdeo, posited private investors can be brought in.
“Then you have to also try to see if there are private partners if you can work with to do like what we did in Bauxite to start bringing in some private interest into sugar so you can maintain the jobs and as you create more jobs, you can then scale Governments involvement over into another area” the Opposition Leader explained.
On December 21, the no-confidence motion brought by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party against the Government in the National Assembly succeeded when former AFC Parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud broke rank and made a conscience vote in favour of the motion.
In keeping with the constitutional provisions of a carried no confidence motion, Government is expected to resign and hold elections within 90 days of the motion being carried.
Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”
Meanwhile, 106 (7) goes on to state that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”