Dr Jagdeo exposes false claims about the PNC’s 28 years of leadership

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has once again highlighted the mismanagement and crippling economic fallout that occurred  during the 28 years of leadership by the People’s National Congress governments. 

Dr Jagdeo was at the time responding to an article authored by member of the Central Executive Committee of the PNC, Dr Gary Best. 

The article contended that the 28 years under the stewardship of the PNC laid a solid foundation, and even accused the PPP of elections rigging at its recently held party congress, among other allegations.

Dr Jagdeo said that these statements and allegations are reflective of the mindset of the PNC leadership. 

“If the results come out smoothly, there must be rigging? You have to rig to have perfect results? This tells you a lot about his mindset, that rigging is deeply engraved in the psyche of the leadership of the People’s National Congress,” Dr Jagdeo asserted during his weekly press conference at Freedom House.

In his article, Best even argued that the PPP had began to defund the Guyana Defence Force. Dr Jagdeo disputed this statement, pointing out the stark difference in the capital budget of the GDF over the years. 

“In 1990, the capital budget of the Guyana Defence Force was less than the salary of one consultant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Today, they have a massive multi billion dollar budget. And Gary Best says the PPP began defunding the GDF,” the GS highlighted. 

Turning his attention to Best’s claims about the PNC’s alleged achievements in the banking sector, Dr Jagdeo said that the country’s banking sector plummeted at the hands of abysmal leadership by the PNC. 

Upon assuming office, the PPP/C government was met with an ailing commercial sector that they have since revitalised. 

“By 1992, the state had ownership of 8 banks, and everyone was bankrupt. Massive bankruptcy,” the general secretary reminded. 

He further added, “They ran these institutions into bankruptcy and became piggy banks for people connected to the PNC,”

He said that the PNC’s management of the commercial sector saw the monopoly of underhanded deals, while the PPP/C crafted a multi-layered system which allowed for transparent privatisation. 

“Every asset that we sold from 1992 to 2011 is in a report that we tabled in the parliament. Every single entity we sold, how much we sold it for, and to whom. We are the party that stopped privatisation when we came into office and established a privatisation unit, a board, and then you had to go to cabinet,” he explained. 

He contrasted this with several transactions which appeared to be shrouded in secrecy.

Dr Jagdeo pointed out, “I can go through…the paint company that they sold off to cronies, the rice mill in Cane Grove… there are a long list of things that they sold off without any public tender whatsoever,”.

The general secretary also called out another fallacy in the PNC member’s article in relation to the housing sector. Best alluded to a massive housing drive piloted by the PNC, which Dr Jagdeo clarified did not happen.

“From 1980 to 1992 they dismantled the Ministry of Housing. There was no Ministry of Housing, no housing programme when we go tinto office. We had to re-establish that and in a number of years we started off a housing programme that is unprecedented in maybe the history of any country in the world,”he said.