…says President Granger best man to manage oil wealth
AS the time draws closer to the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections, Joey Jagan, son of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) founder Dr Cheddi Jagan has called on voters to be prudent in their decision, as he endorses President David Granger and the APNU+AFC government for a second term.
With Guyana set for first oil later this month, next year’s polls have been dubbed the “mother of all elections.” Given the PPP/C’s track record of corruption under former President Bharrat Jagdeo, Jagan believes the industry would be best guarded with President Granger at the helm; and he will be out during the campaign trail to encourage others to make the right choice.
“I would go out and talk on Mr Granger’s behalf, I have no problem with that, because as I said before a lot of things need to be done in Guyana [and] overall, Mr Granger presents the better alternative. Whatever is needed of me I will be there, the campaign trail needs campaigners. Elections campaigning takes a special type to campaign, and I feel I have it in me to campaign,” Jagan said, addressing political activist and host Mark Benschop, as he made an appearance on 107.1 radio show Straight Up.
“My message to people is that Mr Granger is not perfect. Mr Granger didn’t have the experience my father had, and my father had problems — serious problems — because the people he put in were disappointing him. Mr Granger is facing the same problem, but he has to work that out.”
Jagan called for voters to vote on the basis of principles and not race. He also gave his opinion on what he thought of many of the new political parties that are conveniently being formed to contest the upcoming elections. “Take the racism and put it under your bed and try to think carefully with what you’re being presented with. The third parties are a waste of time, vote for any of those parties you are throwing away your vote,” Jagan said.
Jagan highlighted that a coalition government is something that his father Cheddi Jagan strove for, so he believes that the governing party is on the right track. “Anybody who strives for coalition in Guyana is a guy who you need to look at and support,” Jagan related. “I’m just trying to talk the truth and that’s what my father did, all the time, and he strived for coalition; that’s one of the reasons why I support Mr Granger. Cheddi Jagan believed in coalition, in working with other parties.”
Jagan asserted that the current PPP, headed by Jagdeo as opposition leader, has torn down a lot of what Cheddi Jagan originally stood for. Jagan says there is no democracy in the PPP. “Jagdeo can talk all he wants about me, but Cheddi Jagan believed in coalition. That’s why he formed the Civic, and the Civic was supposed to spread out into civil society, but instead [former Prime Minister] Sam Hinds did nothing about it,” Jagan said. “You have to understand these things philosophically to understand where they are going and what they are doing. Mr Jagdeo leads the PPP. He never had a coalition and never intends to have a coalition. He wants one man, one-party rule in Guyana. We have passed that stage, we don’t want to go back to that; we don’t want that ever again, we don’t need that.”
The PPP/C is currently headed into next year’s elections with former Minister of Housing Irfaan Ali as the presidential candidate, notwithstanding the fact that he is currently before the courts on 19 charges for defrauding the State of some $174M. Many believe that he was handpicked by Jagdeo. Jagan said Ali’s selection as presidential candidate is indicative of the PPPs lack of democracy.
Ali is a front man
Jagan contrasted the PPP’s selection process with that of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) process, whereby Minister of Health Volda Lawrence was selected as the chairperson. “Ali is just a front man, that’s all he is, a lot of people in the PPP don’t want him there. But that’s the way parties like that are run, where the General Secretary like Jagdeo can call the shots. There’s no democracy in the party. Democratic principles are not being adhered to,” Jagan said.
Jagan says come the March, 2020 elections, another defeat for the PPP would be a good chance for the younger generation in the party to take over the reins from Jagdeo. “Once he loses the next election he’s done and all the old people in there, their fossilised version … will give the younger generation a chance to come up in the PPP.