Guyana gov’t ready to work with opposition

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: President Bharrat Jagdeo says the governing People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) remains open to talks on collaborating with its political opposition, including a possible formalized structure.

However, he is against an “alliance of convenience” and is insisting that any working together be based on goodwill and trust.

“We are open to discussions with the opposition…we need to reach out to the PNC and AFC and all the others (and) if we can find better ways of collaborating, building trust, I don’t see why, over time, we can’t work together in a formalized structure,” he said.

Jagdeo said he did not foresee any problem with the opposition on a formalized basis but stressed that it has to be on the basis of goodwill and trust.

“Without that it becomes hollow and an alliance or coming together of convenience and it would fall apart and if it falls apart, we go backwards and get into a worse situation than we are in today,” he said.

Jagdeo said the PPP/C under its late monumental co-founders and leaders, former Presidents Cheddi Jagan and his wife Janet, “always reached out and now we hope that the others can do so”.

The main opposition party, the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) has been advocating some sort of power-sharing with the government, and the Alliance for Change (AFC) has urged closer collaboration.

Jagdeo said that, by implication, calls for inclusiveness by the PPP/C since the death of Mrs. Jagan implies the Jagans were against inclusiveness.

“From what I know of them, that’s absolutely untrue. They were always open to broadening our party. But they were also very principled and I hope that their death will not allow us to depart from the principles.

“The PPP/C will not be open to a free-for-all because it sticks to very important norms that have been developed over the years. And these norms say that you have rigorous debates within the party but once you agree to a position within the party, that’s it. We don’t go outside the party, in the media…to fight it,” he said.

Jagdeo said the party is continuing to reach out to people of all races, religions and political persuasions, including the opposition.

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