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Harmon welcomes Jagdeo to Parliament; says he still has questions to answer

Former Presidents Donald Ramotar and Bharrat Jagdeo.

by Zena Henry

General Secretary of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Joseph Harmon, now Minister of State, has welcomed reports that former President Bharrat Jagdeo will be Guyana’s Opposition Leader saying that there are still unanswered questions to be asked of the former head of state.

Jagdeo, as Opposition Leader , will have direct lead of his party’s parliamentarians in the National Assembly and will play an integral role with government where required in State matters.

Former President Donald Ramotar on Wednesday confirmed that Jagdeo would be nominated Opposition Leader when the party goes to the National Assembly for the first time since the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections.

However, Jagdeo who is no stranger to controversy, demitted office after serving two terms as President. He said then that he had no interest in political life and wanted no role in that regard. However he slowly returned to public light close to the recently concluded 2015 election campaign and took lead of that. His role later saw  a criminal charge instituted against him for inciting racial tension.

Harmon said Jagdeo was the one to say he wanted no role in public life and that he was not running for public office, “…it is his credibility that the people of this nation must make a determination of,” Harmon charged.  “He is going to be there, as they said, he also has a criminal charge which he is facing, he is still in Magistrate Court as far as I remember so, we will see what happened.”

Harmon noted however that, “whether it’s Jagdeo or whoever, this government will stand resolutely and we will be able to defend our positions against anybody that the PPP bring out, Jagdeo or whoever. So we have no fear…”

“In fact,” Harmon continued, “We welcome him in the Parliament because there are still a couple of questions that he got to answer for his term in office as president.”

Jagdeo was touted for a National Economic Council (NEC) post if the PPP had won the elections. Many speculated that Jagdeo was pulling the strings of the former Donald Ramotar Administration; angering Ramotar and forcing him on several occasions to deny this.

However, relating to some instances, especially where projects initiated under his tenure were concerned, it was revealed that Jagdeo indeed had firm say in national issues as a executive member of the PPP, having vast experience in the area of economics.

While former President Ramotar who named Jagdeo for the NEC post gave no in-depth detail about what his tasks entailed, other economic minds such as Russian trained lawyer and former Presidential advisor Raymond Gaskin insisted that the former President would be responsible for overseeing all economic activities the country embarked on including local and foreign business investments and overseeing state economic agencies such as the GRA among others.

The former President has been publicly bashed for numerous expensive projects that either failed or were left stalled with taxpayers not getting value for money. The government while in Opposition longed to put some of these relating questions to the former President.