Even though his party failed to ensure constitutional reform for more than 20 years, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said that this time around, things will be different.
He said this at a press conference held yesterday at his Church Street Office.
Jagdeo said that PPP will ensure that constitutional reform is done via a broad-based process. He informed the media as well, that the approach in this regard will be reflected in the party’s manifesto for which a recently constituted committee is already working on.
The Opposition Leader said, “I think there is a great deal of arrogance in specifying as a party what you want to do in terms of constitutional reform without testing it with the people. What we did when you had that (Parliamentary) Constitutional Reform Committee is, we had our people, one being Frank Anthony, doing hundreds of hours of meetings, public memoranda being submitted, and they went out on the ground and so forth on this issue. It was truly a national effort. The issues that came out, it came from the people…”
Jagdeo continued, “It was not from someone sitting in an office in Georgetown and putting together a report saying we need this or that because it serves their interest. A broad-based process is what is required and we will commit to that for Constitutional reform…”
The former Head of State added, “And let me assure you too, whatever comes out of it, we will respect. We will not arrogantly say we will do this or that instead. In cases where we want to amend excesses, then yes, we will make recommendations to the citizens for their take. I believe that it is important that we make this point because the Government tried to hijack the process…”
The Opposition Leader emphasized that constitutional reform is not something to be toyed with while noting that under a PPP Government, Guyanese will be able to say what they want to be removed, amended or added to the Constitution. “We have wasted enough time on this issue,” expressed Jagdeo.