“Robert Badal should be applauded for standing up and being counted rather than cowering in fear of the repressive dictatorship”
“The recent unprovoked and vulgar attacks by President Bharrat Jagdeo on outstanding businessman, Robert Badal, and the Pegasus Hotel, must be condemned by all right-thinking Guyanese.”
This is according to leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, Robert Corbin, who yesterday reminded media operatives that while Guyanese have by now become accustomed to the un-Presidential conduct of the Head of State, “we cannot remain silent, in the face of the obvious abuse of power, to the detriment of Guyanese citizens.”
The Opposition leader said that the silence of the private sector organisations on such an important issue is also alarming, but is reflective of the environment of fear that the Jagdeo Administration has spawned in recent times.
“The deliberate effort to punish voices of dissent by the misuse of state agencies, such as the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Guyana Police Force and the Tender Board Administration, has resulted in many voices that should be concerned over these developments, being silent.”
Corbin said that history has shown, that, unless there is a resolve by all affected citizens, to confront dictatorial behaviour, regimes become more repressive rather than responsive.
The Opposition Leader is of the opinion that “Robert Badal should be applauded for standing up and being counted rather than cower due to fear of the repressive dictatorship.”
Badal in recent times have been expressing his concerns over the use of taxpayers dollars into funding a project that he says will ultimately kill the industry.
Corbin said that it is evident that Badal has been a target of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and, more particularly, President Jagdeo, for some time.
“This is evident from the information flowing from President Jagdeo’s lips as he berated this businessman on many issues which could only be known by the use of Presidential power and privilege…Such misuse of power is atrocious.”
Corbin cautioned that what is more significant is the fact that the Government boasts of promoting the private sector, “or at least working in partnership with it,” yet could deliberately set out to undermine its success.
He said that the debacle surrounding the sale and purchase of the Guyana Pegasus is not unknown.
“Statements emanating from the Office of the President, at the time, clearly revealed that the PPP Government had a special interest in the deal and was seeking to undermine the negotiations at the time…They obviously failed in their quest and, for that reason, the nation is now witnessing the vendetta for which this Administration has achieved great notoriety.”
Corbin reminded that the Government of Guyana has been a shareholder in the Pegasus since its establishment and questions why, as a shareholder, the Government “had not sought to maintain it at the standard which Jagdeo now claims it ought to be kept…Why did the Government not allocate similar resources to upgrade a Hotel in which it was a shareholder, as it did to have Buddy’s Hotel completed in time for the last cricket World Cup?”
The Opposition Leader was adamant that President Jagdeo must not be allowed to get away with such unacceptable behaviour, because of his immunity under the 1980 Constitution.
“He did the same to businessman (Michael) Correia when he, Correia, dared to suggest that some of the taxes collected on the special airline ticket travel should be utilised for the improvement of the Ogle airport…Yesu Persaud became the victim of similar attacks when he dared to set the record straight with respect to Guyana’s economic performance….The fate of journalists, such as Freddie Kissoon, and newspaper companies, such as Stabroek News and Kaieteur News, have been publicised.”
President Jagdeo recently blasted the Guyana Pegasus whilst defending the need for a new modern hotel such as the proposed Marriott which will be owned by the Government and private investors.
That hotel, Badal said, will only serve to kill the local hotel industry given the peculiarities in Guyana.
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