….executives now singing for proverbial suppers – Opposition Leader
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) as a member of the ruling A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) alliance has lost its way from the principles of its founder leader, Dr Walter Rodney, and its executive members are essentially now singing
for their proverbial supper.
This is the blistering observation made on Thursday by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who was asked to weigh in on the recent brouhaha surrounding the demotion of the WPA Minister in Government, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine and the subsequent lukewarm concerns expressed by the party executives over the lack of consultations with the party before the move.
To add insult to injury, the announcement was made on the death anniversary of Dr Rodney.
Speaking with media operatives, Jagdeo said: “At the end of the day, they are all beneficiaries; they will criticise in a perfunctory, peripheral manner the Government and say ‘oh we are not consulted enough’, but at the core of it, they have given up all the principles they once stood for when Dr Rodney was there.”
Speaking for the first time on the public political spat between the coalition members, the Opposition Leader noted that “now they are defending their perks”.
He identified one prominent member (Desmond) Trotman as now receiving a ‘fat salary’.
The Opposition Leader identified other key WPA members such as Professor Clive Thomas and vocal political activist Tacuma Ogunseye as now earning huge salaries from the Administration “five hundred, seven hundred thousand dollars a month”.
Drawing direct reference to a recent press conference held by the WPA leadership to lament the party’s non-consultation by the President before the removal of Minister Roopnaraine from the helm of the largest budget ministry, Jagdeo told media operatives, “almost all the officials at the table who met with the President, it’s either they have a job from the Government earning a lot of money or one of the members of their family now has a scholarship abroad”.
The Opposition Leader was adamant that the WPA members have essentially been silenced in the coalition Government, since “they have drawn down benefits”, and suggested that they would not staunchly challenge the Administration.
He said, “They did a faint criticism and people are going all over the country and say look they (WPA) is standing up for principles…nothing of the sort.” Jagdeo told media operatives it was for these reasons he has largely ignored the internal conflagrations since the WPA leadership was in the end defending individual perks.
“They are defending their perks, and they will find a way of patching things up,” according to Jagdeo.
He said the situation was reminiscent of the Alliance For Change (AFC) which sat in Cabinet and discussed the 14 per cent VAT on education only to later seek to make a public reversal.
“If they discuss the budget measures at Cabinet, how come the AFC is suddenly calling for a reversal now?” Jagdeo questioned. He said the AFC’s track record on such matters includes the controversial parking meter project in the capital city which was originally staunchly supported by the party, a position it later reversed. “Look how long it took them to back down from the parking meter issue after defending it for a while.”