Opposition mediocre policy-making strategy a ‘tragedy’ – GS Jagdeo

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has again criticised the policies of the APNU+AFC+PNC opposition, and their failure to offer constructive criticism of key national priorities.  

The GS was, at the time, speaking to media operatives at his weekly press conference, which was held at Freedom House on Thursday.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“It is a tragedy for our country that we have this sort of mediocrity when it comes to policy-making from the opposition. And it doesn’t lend itself to debate that is productive and that will move public policy forward,” Dr Jagdeo lamented.

He slammed the opposition for their empty rhetoric, adding that their utterances lack substance and are not intended to present tangible solutions to any of the issues they identify.

Dr Jagdeo pointed to the most recent statements by Opposition Member of Parliament, Roysdale Forde. He reported the parliamentarian calling for an in-depth review of the terms of the 2016 Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).

The fiscal terms of the 2016 Product Sharing Agreement (PSA) outline that Guyana receives two per cent of all petroleum produced and sold as royalty, with a 75 per cent cost recovery ceiling.

“For a party that signed the contract when they were in government years ago, and for a person who is contending to be the leader of that party, who is a lawyer, a senior counsel at that, and can’t even give a studied response to elements of the contract…” he highlighted.

Dr Jagdeo said that not only was Forde’s statement wholly belated, but it reflected a clear misunderstanding of the complexities of the oil contract, and the government’s policies with regards to management of the sector.

“We reviewed it in opposition and pointed out the things that we wanted changed. We changed them in the PSA, and said we would not renegotiate the contract,” the general secretary said.

He reminded of the government’s position that while the terms of the 2016 PSA are not ideal, they will not move to change those terms, as this violates contract sanctity.

Rather, a more informed and strategic approach is being employed for future contracts, and investments are being directed into ensuring better management of the industry.

Legislative and regulatory interventions such as the introduction of a new model PSA, and the Petroleum Activities Act are reflective of this commitment.  

According to Dr Jagdeo, the opposition’s narratives have the potential to mislead Guyanese and only promote a distorted view of the government’s policies.

“This constant campaign to mislead, and giving people facts that are not really facts. This is what APNU has thrived on for a very long time,” he said.