Jagdeo rules out power-sharing with PNCR on current conditions

Last Updated on Sunday, 5 May 2024, 15:58 by Writer

General Secretary of Guyana’s governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagdeo on Saturday reiterated that there could be no power-sharing unless the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-led opposition sticks to several ground rules.

“You have to have willing partners and there must be some attributes to those partners; trustworthiness is a key one,” Mr Jagdeo told delegates and observers at the 32nd Congress of that party being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.

On the other hand, the opposition had over the years blamed the PPP for breaching a number of agreements such as the Herdmanston Accord and constructive engagement between the government and the PPP administration under Mr Jagdeo’s presidency.

While acknowledging the need to “work together” with all political parties, he said advocates of power-sharing fail to focus on a number of “critical things” including the need for trust between the two major parties and by supporters of the PNCR-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). “APNU supporters don’t event trust APNU because they failed to implement the manifesto promises. They can’t even get trust from their own supporters because they failed them,” he said. Mr Jagdeo noted that APNU violated its accord with its coalition partner, the Alliance For Change (AFC), on matters such as the chairing of Cabinet and the naming of ministers.

Another conditionality for power-sharing, according to the PPP General Secretary, is the PNCR/APNU’s commitment to democracy rather than rigging elections to achieve political power. “We are democrats, we believe in democracy. We believe in freedom for people to choose…freely openly and that you must work for their support, which is what this party does,” he said.

In apparent reference to calls by New York-based anti-PPP activists to boycott businesses there because owners had welcomed President Irfaan Ali into their premises, Mr Jagdeo said the PPP does not bully, harass or boycott its opponents or rely on racism as a mobilising tool. Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton earlier this week endorsed boycott calls as a means of pressuring the PPP to address alleged discrimination and marginalisation of Afro-Guyanese.