You go first and I will follow.
That is essentially the message Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo is sending to President David Granger.
At his last press conference, Jagdeo spoke extensively about the reason he recently presented himself to the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) to be interviewed about matters he presided over as President of Guyana.
Jagdeo told reporters that he asked the Head of SOCU, Sydney James whether the sitting President and members of Cabinet will be called in over questionable matters they presided over.
Jagdeo told the media, “So now that I have gone in to SOCU, although I am a Constitutional post holder and as Chairman of the Cabinet, President of Guyana, I expect reciprocity
in terms of how government officials will be treated and I was assured by SOCU that despite (Minister of Public Infrastructure David) Patterson’s statement, he will be questioned by SOCU.”
“We expect all the Cabinet members including the President because he now has to go there and he can easily claim the immunity thing or choose to answer the questions about why his Cabinet approved a contract that it had no authority over.”
The “contract” Jagdeo referred to was the one for the feasibility study for the new Demerara Harbour Bridge.
Jagdeo reminded that Minister Patterson took an “unsolicited bid” to Cabinet. He noted that Cabinet then approved the contract despite the fact that the laws of Guyana do not give the Cabinet the authority to do so, “they can only offer a no objection. So they acted illegally and then they agreed to use funds from an entity where the Board members of that entity do not even know the funds were being used.”
Jagdeo said that in all the matters that SOCU is pursuing against the PPP, including the Prodoville matter, “they are still to prove that Cabinet acted illegally. But in this case, we know that Cabinet acted illegally contrary to the laws of Guyana.”
Jagdeo said that if the President is called in by SOCU, and he goes and then chooses not to invoke the Constitutional Provision of Presidential Immunity but instead answers the questions put to him an example will be set. Jagdeo said, “If the President chooses, in SOCU, to give answers as to why he presided over Cabinet and approved a contract that was contrary to the law, I will go back to SOCU and I will not use that (Constitutional) provision (as he did at his last interview). And you have that from me, so I am hoping that he will do that now that you have heard me say that.”
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