Without a doubt, the greatest obstacle to an APNU/AFC re-election bid in 2020 is the man who now holds the strategic positions of Leader of the Opposition and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo!
Now that the Guyana Court of Appeal has cleared the way for his re-election, the PNC/APNU fear of Jagdeo is justified; and for good reasons. That is why this ruling will soon be challenged in the nation’s highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Although the PPP/C has not made a decision as to who the presidential candidate will be, the thought of running against this political maestro must be nerve-racking for the coalition leadership.
For many years while in opposition, the APNU/AFC cleverly executed a long, sustained campaign of destroying the character and credibility of the People’s Progressive Party by painting the Party and its leadership as corrupt and racist.
The questions remain: Was the PPP/C Administration corrupt? And is the former President and now Leader of the Opposition, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, a racist? Who else is more qualified to answer these questions than someone who had, for a long time, been a major critic of both the PPP/C and Bharrat Jagdeo?
You see, years ago, while living in New York, I was a known critic of the Jagdeo Administration, writing regular letters to the press demanding transparency and accountability. But back then I had allowed myself to be influenced by all the negative news coming out of Guyana from the independent press, and the daily criticism of the Jagdeo-led PPP government by Mark Benschop on his Internet radio, a medium popular among Guyanese in the diaspora.
Over the years since, I’ve tried to right a wrong and to recognise and support the PPP/C for good governance; for rescuing Guyana from economic disaster caused by the policies of the then Minister of Finance in the PNC Government, Carl Greenidge; and for improving the quality of life of every Guyanese, more so those living in opposition strongholds like Linden and Buxton, and our Amerindian brothers and sisters who have long been neglected by the PNC regime.
I had good reasons to justify my apologies to former President Bharrat Jagdeo for the harm I’ve caused to his credibility and character. For without knowing the facts, I had committed an injustice by judging him too harshly.
As a PPP/C Member of Parliament, I am living proof that the man holds no grudge, and is committed to work with anyone who genuinely holds the national interest at heart. Knowing Mr Bharrat Jagdeo as I do now, the conditions under which he was able to transform a bankrupt Guyana into a thriving economy while dealing with an obstructionist, non-cooperative PNC parliamentary Opposition has strengthened my resolve and confidence in his leadership, his love of country, and his desire to improve the quality of life of all Guyanese, regardless of race or ethnicity.
And despite the many accusations made against him by his enemies, I can honestly and unequivocally say that Bharrat Jagdeo is not racist. The APNU/AFC will be convinced of this after the 2020 elections results are announced.
The attack on Jagdeo’s character is a deliberate, sustained effort to undermine the PPP by discrediting the Leader of the Party.
Harry Gill, MP