Jagdeo now mum on third-term presidential bid –after professing disinterest
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Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo

AFTER repeatedly telling the media that he is not interested in serving as president a third term, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo now seems to have had a change of heart. Jagdeo, who served two consecutive terms as president as is provided for by the Constitution, refused to say on Monday if he will be gunning for the position when his party, the Peoples’ Progressive Party, elects a presidential candidate in the future.
“I don’t have to give yes or no answers; I just told you what is preoccupying my mind now. When that time comes, then you will hear from me whether I am interested or not,” Jagdeo told reporters at his party’s headquarters on Robb Street on Monday.
As he went on to say, “Frankly speaking, I am so surprised that there is such a big outcry about Jagdeo; and all of this because I am supposed to be a dictator.
“I am supposed to mismanage the economy; I am supposed to be the most corrupt individual in Guyana, therefore, I’ll make a terrible candidate.”
However, two years ago, the Opposition Leader was singing a different tune. In early 2015, before the PPP was unseated from executive office, Jagdeo had responded to a writ which was filed in the High Court challenging the two-term limit for the presidency in Guyana.
In his statement, which was read by then Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, Jagdeo had said that he remains “committed to not pursuing any further appointment to an elected constitutional office or post in Guyana.”
In a subsequent interview with the Stabroek News, Jagdeo confirmed that Dr. Luncheon was indeed speaking on his behalf. He told the Stabroek News: “I am in Russia. Heading to India now. Asked Luncheon to communicate my position.”
On Monday though, Jagdeo, who also serves as his party’s General Secretary, said that the party has not made a decision as to who its presidential candidate will be in the next General and Regional Elections, which are slated for 2020.
He said that this position will be decided on at the appropriate time, and that the nominee will be elected through a democratic process as had obtained at the party’s recently-held Congress.
Listing the qualities the party will be looking for in a presidential candidate, Jagdeo said:
“A candidate who can lead us to victory; a competent candidate who can deliver on promises; a candidate who is visionary; a candidate who can bring people together… So, at that point in time when we decide on our candidate, we in the People’s Progressive Party will look at all the attributes of the presidential hopefuls and then a decision will be made.”
Just recently, the Appeal Court upheld a decision made by former Chief Judge Ian Chang saying that a presidential term limit is unconstitutional.
An appeal filed by Attorney-General Basil Williams and Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland was turned down by Justice B.S. Roy and Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh.
Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards dissented and allowed the appeal.
AG Williams subsequently said that the government will appeal the split decision that upholds a High Court ruling against parliamentary amendment of Guyana’s Constitution to provide for presidential term limits without a referendum.

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