Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo says that the Coalition government did not extend an olive branch to his party, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) when it assumed office back in 2015.
The politician said that it was not due to PPP/C’s lack of trying, but rather, the governing regime’s unwillingness to facilitate the Opposition party.
Jagdeo, at a press conference at his Church Street office, told reporters that subsequent to the May 11, 2015, Regional and General Elections, the PPP/C “made it clear” that it will support the government on the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy issue, and the outstanding court cases between the State and Private corporations.
“We told them that we are prepared to give them a full briefing on all the outstanding cases against individuals, because it runs into billions of dollars and we don’t want the treasury to lose. We had a case against GTT (Guyana Telephone and Telegraph); the case against BK [International] and the wharf; we had a case against [Robert] Badal and Stockfeed; and the DDL (Demerara Distillers Limited) environmental tax. Had they acceded to our requests at that time, and gotten a brief, we would not have signed agreements settling these matters totaling nearly $90B,” the former Finance Minister said.
Jagdeo said this loss translates to nearly “two years of oil money”, while adding that the cases that were settled by the PPP/C amounted to less than $2B.
“So, I told them that we were prepared to share with you a full brief. I can have somebody come and brief the Attorney-General about these cases and secondly, on our sovereignty you have our full support…They didn’t take up our advice because they didn’t want to get the briefing. And these are cases we believe we should have won,” the Opposition Leader said.
He noted too, that some of the cases the State lost were never appealed. Jagdeo believes that “cronyism” is the reason for this perceived laidback approach by the government to challenge previous rulings.