THE past year will be remembered as the year the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) ended its 23 years in the seat of power, after defeat at the May 11 polls by the coalition, A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).As the year closes, marking seven months since the party was voted out of government, former President now Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, has had time to reflect on the issues surrounding his party’s fall from grace.
Pointing to the resolutions for his party in 2016, Jagdeo said the PPP will continue to advocate for the return of benefits to Old Age Pensioners, including the water and electricity subsidies that were cut when the administration increased the Old Age Pension.
He said the PPP will work with the coalition government in the new year to realistically achieve the reduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT), which was mentioned in the party’s manifesto.
“We are going to support the Government in implementing all of its manifesto promises,” Jagdeo told the media yesterday.
He noted that the opposition will push for benefits for rice farmers and sugar workers, as well as gold miners.
In the same tone, he condemned the recommendation made in the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the operations at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) to “cut costs”, and “privatise” the entity.
The Opposition Leader said his party will call for more “fact-based assessments on projects, [instead of] politically-based assessments… so that the country will not suffer because of political decisions in the economic sphere.”
He vowed to “expose the government where there are excesses” as he made mention of “worrying tendencies of not tendering for contracts, [and] single sourcing of contracts.”
Jagdeo said focus will be placed on those issues in 2016.
With Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan announcing Local Government Elections by March 2016, the PPP gave all indications that they will be contesting and will be conducting their house-to-house campaign, as well as reaching out to potential candidates before Nominations Day in early January.