“If wasn’t for PPP there would be no democracy in this country!”
Those were the sentiments expressed by the General Secretary of the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo as he pushed back against the labeling of his party as anti-democratic.
Jagdeo, speaking to reporters from the party’s Robb Street, Georgetown Headquarters on Thursday, highlighted the PPP/C’s democratic credentials, saying it is something he has been forced to do repeatedly over the last two decades.
“If it wasn’t for the PPP/C, people in this country would not be living in freedom,” Jagdeo contended.
He drew attention to what he said were intensified, unprovoked, and false comments about the PPP/C’s track record from some media houses and APNU+AFC opposition characters.
Notwithstanding, Jagdeo used the beginning of the press conference to demonstrate the PPP’s commitment to inclusion and progress.
“So, I’ve been tasked for the past 20 odd years in various capacities but mainly as President and Leader of the Opposition and General Secretary of PPP to give my perspective on a lot of these issues.
“In spite of all these explanations, the matter keeps resurfacing… not in any refined format but in the same crude way as though nothing has happened in more than two decades,” Jagdeo said.
Referencing a recent Stabroek News Editorial, Jagdeo said it was claimed that the ruling party has anti-democratic behaviours, though not as bad as the APNU+AFC opposition.
To support his case, he referenced the prorogation of Parliament by former President Donald Ramotar in 2014 and according to Jagdeo, while some may not like it, the move was never unconstitutional.
The same can be said for the upset over the AFC Linden seat following the 2006 polls, a situation Jagdeo reminded that the court has already ruled on.
And so too, he said, the PPP will continue to maintain that the 2015 elections were stolen with an election petition yet to be heard and determined.
“The period for 28 years ending 1992, every election prior to that was rigged under the PNC…
“…After 1992, all elections under the PPP were determined to be free and fair. We had international observers… APNU had another five years and they tried to steal the elections again,” Jagdeo reminded.
He said the PNC-led APNU+AFC opposition must acknowledge these truths and their wrongdoings before any cooperation with the PPP/C.
To this end, Jagdeo also rejected claims that the governing PPP/C has been excluding Afro-Guyanese in nation-building.
Highlighting the APNU+AFC’s track record on the sugar industry, cash grants for school children and the allocation of house lots, Jagdeo said this claim is “utter nonsense.”
“They have no interest in developing Guyana or Afro-Guyanese. President Ali has made it clear that he will meet anytime with the opposition when matters relate to the performance of constitutional duties as President.
“If it is power sharing they want, then they have to talk to the PPP about this and our position is clear on this matter…You have to demonstrate that we are exclusive,” Jagdeo added.
He maintained that Afro-Guyanese made the most progress under a PPP/C government.
Source: News Room