“Since when I have to be the only responsible one”?
That was the question Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo asked the media at his most recent press conference. It was actually his response to questions surrounding the possibility he sees for further engagements with President David Granger.
At the press conference, Jagdeo spoke extensively about the constitutional crisis to which Guyana is headed. He also spoke about the grave consequences.
It was asked of Jagdeo whether he is willing to reach out to the government for talks on how the crisis can be averted.
Jagdeo blatantly refused to reach out. He said that the onus is not upon him.
He stressed, “It is the president who has to convene a meeting.”
Jagdeo said, too, that he would avoid any further meetings with the president unless he is assured that there will be good faith negotiations.
Jagdeo lamented that his last meeting with the President was essentially a talk shop and that he felt as if it was purely a publicity stunt on the part of the government.
The Opposition Leader recalled that he was the one who initiated that meeting. “I walked across the same night the no-confidence motion was passed and said to Harmon, ‘Could we arrange a meeting with the president to talk this through and to talk about the future?’”
Jagdeo said that he waited quite a while before he could have even got a response. He noted that eventually, the
meeting happened 18 days later.
Jagdeo told the media that if the crisis is to be averted at this point, it should not be based on a move from the PPP since it was not the PPP that took Guyana to the point where it finds itself. Jagdeo stressed that the PPP has done enough and that it is the President’s responsibility to handle these matters with diligence.
Jagdeo said that almost every action of the government is a display of its disregard for the law and the constitution.
Jagdeo said that a clear example is in the meetings of the “ministerial plenary.”
When Chief Justice Roxane George delivered her ruling on the validity of the No-Confidence motion, she ruled that upon the passage of the motion, Cabinet became automatically resigned.
In response, the APNU+AFC government, formed a “ministerial plenary.”
Jagdeo noted that the plenary has all powers of the cabinet.
He noted that the constitution does not provide for the meeting of any plenary.
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