Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo is failing the people by throwing the nation into steady ‘rickaticks.’
As a participant in the process whereby he was elected to the National Assembly (and a taxpayer who pays his monthly pension of $1.2 million, his transportation, driver, 24-hour security, electricity and water bills, his gardener, household assistants and office staff, medical bills for him and dependent members of his family, vacation allowance equivalent to two first class return airfares to wherever he chooses, and for the Queenstown office), he must know it would be an abrogation of my civic duty not to hold him to account.
Somehow, he thinks opting for the presidential package as against the Opposition Leader’s salary exonerates him from constitutional duty for the job he holds. He thinks living off our sweat means receiving benefits to cuss and buze. A check of the Constitution of Guyana for his job description shows it falls under the Executive, which means he has a responsibility for day-to-day governance, but he has opted to engage in reckless conduct.
The reason he has succeeded so far is because as Julius Caesar said, judgment has fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason. What we are seeing in Guyana is a similar demonstration to the Stockholm syndrome, where he who presided over a nation of fear, rampant corruption, death squads and those who were his likely victims, demonstrate a psychological alliance to this display of Hitlerite tendencies.
It is recklessness and hunger for power that consume him. From the time of the no confidence vote (NCV) to now, it has been nothing but bedlam. There has been the refusal to take a manly or statesmanlike approach to the issues at hand, preferring instead to resort to ghetto politics, cuss out, buze out, break down. It is political immaturity that will not value the necessity of coming to this nation with a proposal of how together we can move forward, other than shouting ‘get out!’
Look at the other Opposition Leaders, whenever the nation faced crises, they delivered leadership by making proposals to resolve differences, arriving at agreement, in the quest to move the nation forward. National interest was placed above partisan interest.
Dr. Henry Jeffrey, a few days ago in his Stabroek News’ column, reminded us what President Desmond Hoyte and Opposition Leader Cheddi Jagan together did in the 1990s to resolve electoral differences. In 2001, during a national crisis, Mr. Hoyte made a proposal and signed an agreement with Jagdeo as to how the nation could move forward together. In 2003, during another crisis, Mr. Robert Corbin put to the nation a proposal which resulted in a communiqué with Jagdeo. None he honoured.
Jagdeo is not a team player. Neither is the nation or common good his interest. He’s a man without a plan, other than the constant media brawl, creating mischief and mayhem. When he is not engaging in such conduct, he has Anil, who is starting to look like a battered person, running to the court to ask of it to do what the voters elected him and President Granger to do.
What we are witnessing is symptomatic of the way he governed – no respect and regard for institutions, the nation, its people, and another’s opinion. It is his way or the highway.
Critically, he is ignoring that under the present circumstance, the best thing to do is sit with the President and agree how the nation will proceed in a lawful and orderly manner. If he thinks telling the nation that the government is illegal and expects an illegal government and president to name a date for election, he is of a confused or wicked mind. An illegal president cannot make a legal decision.
He is ashamed to let his supporters know he has to return to the National Assembly, instead ranting and raving like a big bravado that he will not. Jump high, jump low, he has to return, not because I say so, but because of the Constitution. The three months period has passed for an election to be held, given that during the period the NCV issue was in litigation.
Any decision made now by Mr. Granger for a date of election can see the election or the result being challenged in the court of law due to the fact that the date has been determined outside of the Constitution as stipulated in Article 106(7) and reiterated in the Caribbean Court of Justice ruling. Mark my words, Jagdeo will be among the first to turn around and challenge the election if he doesn’t like the results.
Political expediency must not trump the Rule of Law. It remains to the nation’s detriment to have an opposition leader with passion and anger and no plan. The similar conduct displayed as president he seeks today to employ, holding the nation to ransom. This PPP renegade is a destroyer, threat to humanity, governance and Guyana’s stability. I shall continue to hold him to account for his performance and in so doing, I speak not only for myself but for tens of thousands.
Instead of seeking to ensure law and order in the here and now, we’re hearing of promises to do what he as president had the opportunity to do but did not. After initiating the process of depriving university students their constitutional right to free education, saddling them with burdensome loans, the promise is now being made to respect the constitution.
Sugar workers who he trampled on and threatened their union with de-recognition are now being promised a PPP government that will treat them with respect. Who is Mr. Jagdeo fooling? As president, he closed down Diamond, the estate that provided GuySuCo the greatest yield of canes. He closed down LBI estate. Thousands of sugar workers were put on the breadline. Some had to approach the court, using the legal service of Khemraj Ramjattan, before receiving severance pay.
I hope those who he seeks to fool are noting he is not promising no more corruption, no more death squads, no more bloodbaths, no more extrajudicial killings, and no more police and army torture. He has no respect for law and order, because even though he knows he cannot be elected president, he’s still making promises about what a PPP government will do. His action is showing dogged pursuit to be the de facto president, a clear disregard for the Constitution and CCJ ruling on the ‘third term.’
Should Irfaan Ali win the presidency, he will fear no better than Donald Ramotar, who was usurped from the opposition leader position.
Shame on Irfaan for his forced displayed of contentment to be used in fronting the political mania of the power hungry and mislead this nation. Shame on those leaders in society who support or stay silent as he (Jagdeo) continues to create a hurricane of confusion with no plan for the continuity of good governance in the interim. Shame on those who allow themselves to be misled by such immoral charisma.
Jagdeo will not silence me. Every time he raises my name at his press conferences, once the media permit me access, I shall respond. In Guyanese vernacular, I say to him again, “go wuk fuh de cheque yuh getting at the end of the month”. It is time to emulate your predecessors, lay before the nation a plan to work with the President, and return to the National Assembly.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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