The three reform topics put on the agenda to be discussed by the President, David Granger and the Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo were never mutually agreed on.
This is according to Jagdeo, who explained to media operatives at his most recent press conference, that the three issues- identified as oil and gas, the environmental sector and crime- which were placed on the table for discussion on reform were proposed by the President.
His assertion comes on the heels of Granger disclosing to media operatives on Friday last, that the topics were “mutually agreed” on.
“The three issues that the President put on the table were never mutually agreed on. Those were three issues that the President said, when I confronted him and I said, is it true that you want to have this discussion … he said yes and I said could you tell me what are the issues you want to discuss and he named those three issues…Three sectors, they were not mutually agreed,” Jagdeo posited.
Moreover, he explained that his intention was to add additional issues to the reform agenda to be discussed.
“So when I met the President in a subsequent meeting when we were consulting on the appointment of the Commissioner and four deputy commissioners, I raised this issue with him and I said , as I indicated, that I do not want the press to think to that we are delaying the talks. You had promised to write us, indicating what you want to speak [about]…so we are expecting a correspondence from you and I’ve said to him further, we’ve had discussions, at the level of our executives and once we receive the formal letter from you, I will respond to you and I would like to add some issues to the agenda,” he said.
In July of this year, INews had reported that Jagdeo was expecting to meet with Granger discuss matters regarding Guyana’s crime situation, the environmental sector as well as oil and gas.
Jagdeo had made the disclosure during one of his press conferences at the time, where he told media operatives that he informed the President that it was relayed to him that the international community is of the opinion that the Government wants to engage the PPP in several matters but that the Opposition Party is reluctant to do so.
“I received a call from President Carter, Jimmy Carter [former US President] and after talking a bit about Guyana, he said to me, he had spoken to President Granger and somehow…he got from that conversation, is that the Government wanted to engage with us and we are unwilling to engage because we don’t like Nagamootoo. So I said to him, that that’s absolutely not true,” the Opposition Leader had said.
According to him, the only issues his party has with the Prime Minister of Guyana is that they do not believe that he has a portfolio within Government and that his inability to make commitments.
“It is not the individual, it is his ability to make commitments that we can accept because, and I pointed this out to President Carter, I said, the AFC can’t even secure a meeting with APNU. They have written APNU since February of this year and now its July and I do not think they can secure a meeting with APNU to discuss the Cummingsburg Accord. Secondly, Nagamootoo has absolutely no substantive portfolio. GINA and Chronicle…is not a serious portfolio and therefore, that is the reason why,” he explained.
As such, when Jagdeo approached Granger, he said he made these very points, and further sought clarity with regards to the matters Government had hinted that they wanted to discuss with the PPP so that he could engage his party’s Executive.
The President had assured the Opposition Leader that he is prepared to lead the discussions himself.
Meanwhile, the former President explained that he was given the impression that the international community believed Granger wanted to discuss Governance and Constitutional Reform.
“…somehow I think the international community felt that the discussions had to be about Governance and Constitutional changes that the Government was offering and therefore we were rejecting any discussion about Governance and Constitutional reform. President carter did not mention that to me but I had the distinct impression that the feeling was that it is about Governance…and somehow the PPP was reluctant to discuss this but as you can see now that was never a proposal of APNU to discuss…” he said.