The APNU+AFC coalition government has indicated that it is not threatened or worried by the selection of former President Bharrat Jagdeo by the People’s Progressive Party as the Opposition leader but the coalition believes it will be up to the people of Guyana to make a determination on his credibility.
Minister of State and APNU General Secretary Joe Harmon reminded a Wednesday press conference of the former President’s announcement earlier this year of his disinterest in seeking political office or any constitutional post.
Harmon insinuated that Jagdeo was baggage for the PPP since he currently has a criminal case ongoing in the magistrate’s court.
The private criminal charge was filed by Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram where he is contending that Jagdeo’s statements at Babu John on March 8, 2015 about the beating of drums to drive out one race by another out of office, could result in ethnic violence or hatred as cited in the Representation of the People Act.
Under that Act, the former President could face a fine and prison time, if he is found guilty. Jagdeo has since moved to the High Court to get the matter thrown out all together.
Harmon has noted the government’s resolve to stand resolutely against Jagdeo or anyone in the PPP and defend its position in the National Assembly.
“In fact we welcome him because he still has a few questions to answer for his term in office,” Harmon added.
Jagdeo was President of Guyana from 11th August, 1999, to 3rd December 2011 and holds a number of global leadership positions in the areas of sustainable development, green growth and climate change.
He appeared on the party’s list of candidate for the May 11 elections and received resounding support from within the party to be opposition leader over Presidential Candidate and immediate past President Donald Ramotar after the party lost those elections.
Ramotar told a news conference on Wednesday that he made the decision not to join the party in parliament because he believes that the party ought to be repositioning itself and transitioning into new and younger leadership to take the party forward.
Jagdeo is constitutionally barred from running for President again.