Monday, October 12, 2009

Opposition slams third term feelers

The actions of the group calling itself the “Guyanese Coalition For Jagdeo Third Term” (GCFJTT) have been lambasted by the opposition parties, who have labelled the campaign as pointless.

Earlier this week, the shadowy GCFJTT began campaigning for a third term for President Bharrat Jagdeo, by distributing flyers and buttons. The group in the flyer said that Jagdeo had demonstrated “visionary, courageous and astute leadership over the years” and that the group wanted him to continue the “developmental path for a modern, peaceful and prosperous Guyana”. The group said that “we are prepared to utilize the constitutional mechanisms to a third term as President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.”

It is still unclear who the members of this group are and whether they are affiliated with any other organization.

However, President Jagdeo has repeatedly stated that he has no interest in running for a third term.

PNCR Leader Robert Corbin, when contacted last evening was in a meeting, but in a brief statement he called the actions of the group “diversionary” and added that “whoever is doing this is clearly out of touch with reality because it will never happen”. He said that his party will address the matter in greater detail today during its press conference.

AFC Leader Raphael Trotman, when reached for comment, said that his party respected the right of citizens to express their views but emphasized that his party would not support anything that was unconstitutional. He told this newspaper that he had also been a recipient of one of the flyers and buttons.

According to Trotman, the issue of extending the term limit was not something that the AFC would support and added that “we don’t believe that the incumbent has the right to seek an extension”. He said that the President seemed to have greater interest in addressing matters outside of Guyana than in the country.

Trotman also stated that he hoped that the PNCR shares a similar view and that they would not allow themselves to be coerced into supporting this move.

When asked if he had any idea as to who were the members of the (GCFJTT), the AFC leader said that sources have told him that officials employed at the Office of the President are behind the group and its activities.

However, an official attached to the Office of the President denied this and told Stabroek News that employees at OP were baffled by the entire episode.

Columnist for the Guyana Chronicle and employee at the Office of the President, Dr Randy Persaud said that he was surprised at the campaign. He said that he was unaware of the actions of the GCFJTT until he read yesterday’s edition of the Stabroek News. He, however, echoed the sentiments of PPP General Secretary Donald Ramotar who told this newspaper on Wednesday that the act was one intended to create mischief.

Ramotar, who on Tuesday stated that his party had nothing to do with the GCFJTT, told Stabroek News yesterday that he still did not know who was behind the campaign. When asked if the matter was one of concern to the party, Ramotar said that it had not been discussed as yet.” He, however, re-emphasized his belief that it was an attempt by someone to be mischievous.

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