Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday indicated that his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was ready to embrace civil society and other political parties for the 2020 general elections with concrete assurances that they would not abandoned if his party regains State power.
“A mechanism in that promise to ensure people-they do not feel used- once you get into office, that the party that is dominant forgets all about its promises, a mechanism to ensure that they hold the party accountable for the promises and we plan to work on a compact with civil society in that regard,” he told a news conference.
In what sounded somewhat like an effort to revive the civic component that had been invited by the then Cheddi Jagan-led PPP to contest the 1992 general elections, Jadgeo said his party was ready to embrace other political parties, civil society- including the labour and the private sector-trade unions and other groupings that were willing to work for Guyana’s development.
“Any party that wants to be part of that collective which pursues those dreams will have a space”, remarked Jagdeo who is also the PPP’s General Secretary. He noted that the People’s National Congress Reform and the PPP would always have a constituency “regardless of what happens at the next elections”, unlike the Alliance For Change (AFC) that he said was virtually a spent electoral force.
The former Guyanese leader said the PPP would set the basic ground rules and policy orientation such as being pro-poor, pro wealth creation, private growth, and inclusion of every race and religion. Jagdeo said his party was prepared to accommodate civil society’s quest for constitutional reform, political party campaign financing.
He also hinted that the PPP was willing to work with other political parties to govern Guyana, in addition to oil and gas which he stressed should be managed by all political parties. “We have to find a model that involves everyone in the future and not just oil and gas but maybe in a governance setting and that’s why I said our party will work on a compact with civil society before the next elections,” he said.
Jagdeo had hoped that the constitutional rights commissions and a number of bipartisan parliamentary sectoral committees would have provided an opportunity to build trust, “then you can contemplate at the executive level more types of sharing”.
The PPP General Secretary, at the same time, noted that a constitutionally enshrined consultative mechanism for appointing a Chancellor and Chief Justice has resulted in gridlock in appointing substantive office holders.
He questioned President David Granger’s sincerity to speak with the opposition on national issues, except consultations that with the Leader of the Opposition that are required by the Constitution.