Talks between President David Granger and Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo, following the intervention of former US President Jimmy Carter, may not be held anytime soon as both Government and Opposition are expected to be engaged in campaigning for local government elections in November.
This is according to Jagdeo who was speaking at a press conference yesterday.
Asked what he proposes to put on the agenda for talks between himself and Granger when they next meet, he said he will not make that disclosure at this time.
Granger has proposed the environment, oil and gas and crime and security and nothing in terms of governance and constitutional reform.
Jagdeo told the press conference held at his Church Street office that he and Granger did not undertake any further discussions on a meeting in the near future.
Since the date for local government elections was announced, he said, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been engaged in discussions on kicking off its campaign.
The party understands that Nomination Day will be on September 21, he said. The campaign had been launched in Georgetown and on the East Coast Demerara on Monday and launches are underway on the East Bank Demerara, West Coast Demerara, Region Six and Bartica among other places, he said.
“The party has been fully engaged in local government issues,” he said.
The party, he said, has not come around to discussing further talks with the President and for a presidential candidate for the party. “We will get back to that at a subsequent meeting of the Central Executive,” he said.
Granger had indicated that his party, the People’s National Congress Reform would be busy with its congress in August, he said.
When they met, Jagdeo said he told Granger that crime was ravaging the people and the situation was uncontrollable.
“I asked about the report he had received from the British consultant and I am not even clear if he committed to make that report available to us. He turned to (Minister in the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph) Harmon and asked about the report.”
Jagdeo said he has not seen the report which was supposed to end all crime in Guyana.
He said he also asked Granger about the changes he has made in the Guyana Police Force and what was motivating those changes.
“We in the Opposition and the people in the country are not aware of those changes. He sought to explain those. We have different views on that.” He did not say what Granger’s explanations were.
Saying that the Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjatan has been talking a lot of lately, Jagdeo said he was intrigued to see the reaction to five bandits who were killed recently by the police and Government highlighting the killing as a success in the fight against crime.
He said, “Just imagine the PPP in office and the exact same thing happens. This would be extra judicial killing by the racist PPP Government trying to exterminate Afro Guyanese as they said when they created that list of 400 people.”
The list, he said, included all the bandits and victims, policemen and nearly 100 Indo Guyanese. “Today, the same thing has happened but the narrative has changed.”
He said, he does not see the same groups that were protesting against the PPP saying anything. It just shows how prejudiced and how convenient those “so-called rights” groups were.