Opposition Leader Defends Protest in Parliament


Says President’s Breach of Constitutional Provisions Was Too Egregious

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA — Opposition leader, Bharrat Jagdeo in a statement to the media after the end of Parliament on Thursday, criticised the President for what he considered to be lack of originality.

“I have said before that we could have expected another good life speech, opening up the interior, that the Forestry Commission’s job is to monitor the forests – useless things,” Jagdeo said.

The former President added, “He has not dealt with any of the major issues affecting Guyanese – the crime and how he will tackle the increase in crime; how he will tackle the increased loss of jobs in our economy; how he would tackle investments. In fact, he said we are attracting more investments now, when the reality is very different…”

Jagdeo further argued, “He even talks about projects that were started under the PPP (when he says) ‘we have just completed the four-lane road on the East Bank’. Does he not have anything original or relevant to say?”

The Opposition PPP has refused to listen to the President’s address in the National Assembly since the coalition government took office and according to Jagdeo, his party has “walked out in the past and not listened to the President, when there were other breaches of the Constitution.”

“But this breach (the unilateral appointment of a GECOM Chairman in violation of Constitutional provisions) was so egregious that just staying away was not adequate,” Jagdeo said. “We had to be here actively protesting the breach of the Constitution and the (undermining of) the rule of law. Therefore, that is why we took this action – to highlight; not only to Guyana, but to the international community that was here, about how seriously we, and the country, view this matter.”