Just over a week following a meeting with President David Granger and several Government Ministers, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has opened up about that meeting and sternly called on the government to set aside what he said was a “campaign mode” that it continues to revel in and “get on with business of managing the country.”
At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Jagdeo provided several clarifications to reports that emanated from the Ministry of the Presidency concerning the meeting but said it remained important that the new APNU+AFC government do what is necessary to fix the mood of uncertainty which he said, is slowly grinding the economy to a halt.
The APNU+AFC coalition won the May 11 elections and has since passed a national budget as part of its development plan.
But according to the Opposition Leader, a large number of citizens remain unsure about where the government is taking the country.
He said this uncertainty, on the part of the government, is demonstrated everyday in its policy. According to Jagdeo, the ongoing investigations by the government which is intended to unearth wrongdoing and corruption of the previous PPP administration do not lend itself to ensuring that the two parties work together.
“What should be done is to allow the government another six months to wrap up all investigations… when that period of campaigning is complete then the environment may exist to work on other issues,” he added.
Speaking directly about the meeting with President Granger, Mr. Jagdeo said he arrived at the President’s Office on Monday last under the impression that the meeting was a courtesy one but was presented with an agenda.
He accepted that he did agree to support all national efforts relating to the preservation of the integrity of Guyana’s borders.
However, Jagdeo said when it comes to matters of economic diplomacy, the PPP may not have a similar approach and may have huge differences with the government.
“In relation to Venezuela and Suriname I said that while we vigorously pursue the defense of our country that Guyana keep the doors of communication open because we are still going to be neighbors centuries from now and we need to have good relations and functional cooperation,” Jagdeo said.
The Opposition Leader clarified that he did not offer the President any help to recover billions lying around in liabilities to the state.
He said there are over $20 billion in outstanding taxes to the state that the PPP government was pursuing in the court before it left office.
“We do not want government to lose those cases… so we agree to share institutional memory on these tax cases… it would be irresponsible not to help,” he added.
Jagdeo believes that overall the meeting was a good one and said a mechanism must be put in place to ensure that what takes place at such meetings get to the people in an unadulterated manner.