by Zena Henry
With seven days left to General polls son of former President Dr. Cheddi Jagan has come out in full support of A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance for Change (APNU +AFC) Coalition, and has urged all Guyanese to vote for the opposition party.
Addressing media operatives at his dental office located at Charlotte Street, Jagan endorsed the Coailtion saying that it is the best choice for Guyana.
Jagan alluded to what he considered the poor management of the country by the current administration and concluded that, “it is time for change.”
He said that in the last election, he supported the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), which his father was one of the founding fathers of, because they had promised several things such as the activation of the party’s civic arm, a passport office in Berbice among other things he wished to see develop in the country. The PPP has said the civic is very informal and loose grouping. Government has decentralised the issuance of passports.
However, a mere two months later he realized that the party’s current leaders were not genuine in their utterances. Jagan said that while persons might say that he is bumping around the political arena from one party to the other, he said he has not lost his vision for inclusive governance; something he has been unable to convince the PPP about.
Jagan has thus asked the electorate, specifically the Indian population to, “throw aside your prejudices; throw aside your blind loyalties to people who cannot help you anymore. After 23-years of rule it is time for a Change,” he said.
Jagan said not everything the PPP/C did was wrong but claimed that they have done enough bad things that are not supposed to give them another term in office.
Jagan said that, “I have to come to the conclusion after living here that if this whole population was East Indian and the Coalition’s presidential candidate David Granger was an Indian, the PPP couldn’t even get 25 percent of the votes.” He continued that, Guyana has had serious ethnic problems, especially politics, and it has wrecked the country.
He noted, however, that Guyana has great potential for every one; “a slice of the Guyanese pie for everyone… everybody must get a slice and that is why I endorse Mr. Granger for President and this change in government to bring the alliance of APNU and the AFC Coalition to the forefront to run our affairs”
Jagan also shot down possible assertions that Granger should not be president because he is black, stating that such a statement could not get pass him.
The former president’s son also waded into the ruling party for neglecting the country. “Yes we have a Marriott, but where is the drinking water? Where is our city going?” he questioned. Jagan ridiculed that the government boast of a five star hotel, which they have set in a “one star city.” He pointed to other infrastructure going up but no buses to take kids to school and funds to provide meals for poor students.
He took the opportunity also to address claims of militarization being made by former president Bharrat Jagdeo in relation to Granger being a former military officer. Jagan said he was also a military man in the US and there is nothing wrong with having a military background. He said in fact, that that is exactly what is needed in Guyana “disciplined people to run our country.”
He reiterated that a Coalition government is perfect for Guyana given its ethnic divide. Jagan noted that he met with President Donald Ramotar months ago advising that he make Granger his Prime Minister and offer a free hand to the opposition. However, to avoid inclusive governance, Jagan said they refused his advice.
As it relates to former President Bharrat Jaagdeo who is being accused of race baiting and inciting race division on the campaign trail, Jagan described him as the “coolie bully of politics.” He said that Jagdeo is in attack mode and he has no other way to go.
“Mr. Jagdeo resurrecting the past and cussing out the military and doing all that is a part of his game plan, to be that way to bully the Indians, locking in on them. The East Indians in this country are in a trap. They are locked in and when you use this type of description of people you got the scare tactic that works for them.”
Jagan said if the Coalition asks for his assistance he will help in any way possible. He did not shy away from accepting a position in the Coalition if offered.