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PPP shuns executive power sharing, prefers inclusionary democracy

PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo points to presidential candidate, Irfan Ali while admitting he was his anointed pick.

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Sunday night shunned the idea of executive power-sharing but pledged its commitment to inclusive governance and no discrimination against political opponents, shortly after the national recount unofficially gave that party  a 13,069‬ vote lead ahead of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).

“I, personally, would not like to work with some of these people oin any form, whether it’s executive power sharing or not. They have lost all credibility,” PPP General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters shortly after the recount ended at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.

PPP presidential candidate, Dr. Irfaan Ali prefered to rely on policies and programmes of a development agenda for the benefit of all Guyanese. He shrugged off questions about whether he supported executive power sharing. “There is no model that tells you executive power sharing is superior to any other aspect of any inclusion. It is how do we include ideas, how do we make the Parliament better functioning, how do we make the Parliament better involved, how do we ensure that each arm of government manages and governs in the best interest of the people and how is it that we ensure the development agenda, the development priorities and the resources of our country are spent in a manner in which all Guyanese feel a part of and they benefit,” he said.

Asked pointedly whether he supports executive power sharing, Ally repeated: “I support moving forward together in an inclusive manner.”

Incumbent President, David Granger on May 25 told the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) that he favoured power-sharing and would again make overtures to the PPP should he be declared the winner of the March 2, 2020 presidential, parliamentary and 10 regional council elections. “At the start of my tenure, I did invite the People’s Progressive Party to discuss a form of shared governance and were I to be re-elected after the declaration of the Election Commission, I would do the same again. I believe in inclusionary democracy and the PPP has to be, is part of the future of Guyana,”  he has said. Granger has said it is “damaging” not to have a government in which all parties can share, particularly the PPP “which represents a substantial part of our electorate and our population and I would invite them again.”

For the PPP, that party has acknowledged that Guyana’s governance model “has to change” and “enshrine it”  through constitutional reform. Jagdeo, however, said everything rests on respecting the outcome of the elections. “They, until now, are refusing to accept the will of the people and so when you have a government sworn in based on the will of the people, we are open to any sort of discussion but you have to do this also with people who care about this country and the trauma they are putting us through, in mind, shows that they don’t care anything about this country,” he said.

Asked what governance model the PPP has in mind to include that segment of the population that might never support his party for several decades to come, Jagdeo said he was unsure that that alone would change such a scenario. Instead, he cited the need for hard work and care “on the ground” people would support the party more.

But the PPP General Secretary said executive power sharing was not that simple because an “effective government” would be needed because the electorate judges political parties on delivering results such as goods and services. “You have to have partners and people who are like-minded and agree to your programme for delivering goods and services to our people all across Guyana,” he said.

Amid persistent claims by APNU+AFC that the PPP engineered electoral fraud affecting more than 84,000 votes, Jagdeo argued that the People’s National Congress Reform-led coalition was not operating in good faith to create the conditions for political cooperation for the good of Guyana. “This party, on a daily basis, is showing that its leaders are incapable of putting national interest and national consideration first, primary,” he said.

With unofficial figures up to Sunday night from The Citizenship Initiative website, www.guyanaresults.com , showing that PPP won 230,328 votes and APNU+AFC 217,259, the PPP assured that its opponents would not be discriminated against but instead a new administration would govern Guyana for all its peoples. “This is democracy and PPP has made it clear- and look at our period in office too, that we have to manage Guyana in the interest of all Guyanese,” he said, adding that Guyanese across the political divide must be involved in managing the country’s emerging oil and gas sector. “We want to make sure that every Guyanese, wherever they live in this country or whatever their political affiliation or their race can all equally share the benefits of our country,” he said.

The former Guyanese leader recalled that during the PPP’s tenure- 1992 to 2015- there was legislative power-sharing through parliamentary management, parliamentary sectoral committees, and rights commissions. On the question that ordinary people still feel excluded, Jagdeo contended that Afr-Guyanese are “led to believe that”. “The rhetoric is just racism,” he said.