By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Three years after taking up the presidency, Donald Ramotar has finally addressed the long standing perception that former President Bharrat Jagdeo is “pulling the strings” behind the scene at Office of the President.
In addressing the issue on the radio programme, ‘Hard Talk’ aired on 90.1 Love FM on Sunday, May 03, President Ramotar dismissed the claims that he is being used as a puppet President, nothing that he does not take the allegations “seriously.”
“Well you know when Mr Jagdeo became President they used to say that I was pulling the strings behind the scene from Freedom House and they also used to say that Janet Jagan was pulling the strings, so really I don’t take those things seriously. I know Jagdeo was President of this country for 12 years and he was in government for a longer period of time. He has accumulated an enormous amount of experience,” Ramotar said.
Meanwhile, the incumbent President also shed light on the newly established National Economic Council (NEC) in which he appointed Jagdeo as the Chairman.
According to Ramotar, in the three years that he has been President, he observed that there is “some deficiency as far as implementation is concerned. So one of the things that they [NEC] will do, because there is so much things to do in government, is give total focus to ensure that projects are implemented and implemented on time.”
He further noted that the NEC will make recommendations to Cabinet about other economic projects that could be of benefit to the country. In defending Jagdeo’s appointment, Ramotar made it clear that he [Jagdeo] is not being paid for his services, debunking reports that the NEC was created just to insert the former President into government.
“He is a very very good economist and I think it’s a resource that we have there that we don’t have to pay for. His services will be completely free; there will be no cost to the Guyanese people for his services so I don’t see why I should not make use of such a resource,” President Ramotar said.
In February of this year, the Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) had noted that it viewed with much concern the decision of Ramotar to appoint Jagdeo as the Head of the NEC.
In a statement, the WPA had noted that the announcement signals the commencement of the “deception and double talk” that is to come from the Office of the President during the election period.