…despite saying in the past he had no such intentions
By Brushell Blackman
On the heels of the Court of Appeal ruling that found that presidential term limit was unconstitutional, opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo was asked to address definitively if he was seeking to rule for a third time. He skirted the question
At a People’s Progressive party (PPP/C) press conference, yesterday, this newspaper asked Jagdeo to state either ‘yes’ or no’ whether he would be running for the presidency again. The former president said that he was not in a court of law and he will not be forced to answer in that way.
On February 4, 2015, Jagdeo through a statement that was read by then Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon said “The President (Jagdeo at the time) remains committed to not pursuing any further appointment to an elected constitutional office or post in Guyana”.
At the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad in 2009, during a press conference, when asked about a third term, Jagdeo said that he had no such intention, that he had other things to do.
Yesterday at Freedom house Jagdeo said that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) has made no decision on who its next presidential candidate will be at the next elections. He said that this matter will be decided at the appropriate time and that the decision will be done democratically as it was when he was elected as General Secretary of the PPP/C at the last party congress.
At no point did he rule himself out but he said that he was sure that his party will select the best possible candidate for that position. He said that the candidate will be someone who can deliver on promises, has vision and that can bring people together.
He stated that it was important that everyone looked at possesses those attributes and then a decision will be made.
Jagdeo explained that he is not preoccupied with the third term issue at this time but as General Secretary his focus is different. “At the moment my role is to prepare the party to win the next elections”. He said that the PPP/C is working to consolidate the party support within the Amerindian community. He admitted that they lost support in their traditional support areas.
The former president said that it was important that his party wins back the hearts of sugar workers and rice farmers who became disillusioned by the policies of his party. He also said that the party was looking to win over APNU supporters who he said have become despondent with the performance of the current administration.
He stated that the PPP/C has accepted where they made mistakes during the last elections and they will work during their sojourn out of power to correct these. He said that the notion that he was the only person in line to lead the party again was to underestimate the capability and strength of the PPP/C.
When it was put to Jagdeo that his utterances of the third term issue suggests that he has every intention to rule the country again, Jagdeo said that as the General Secretary he is putting forward the party’s position and not his.
This latest position by Jagdeo raises some moral issues about Jagdeo.
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