“President Granger describes talks as ‘successful engagement’”


GEORGETOWN – President David Granger Wednesday described his 75-minute discussion with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo as “a successful engagement” and has sought to re-assure the population that they are working towards a solution “which they will be satisfied with”.

Granger’s coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) collapsed on December 21 after a government back bencher, Charrandass Persaud sided with the motion of no confidence against the government by Jagdeo, to give the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) a 33-32 victory in the 65-member National Assembly.

The PPP has since called on the government to name the date for fresh general elections which it says must be held before March this year.

In a brief statement, following the discussions, Granger said he would describe the deliberations as “a successful engagement” adding “both the Leader of the Opposition and the president are concerned about the situation.

“We would like to assure the public in Guyana that we are working to a solution which they will be satisfied with. The public interest is our paramount concern,” he said.

Granger said that the meeting had discussed two main issues, namely the function of the National Assembly and the function of the government.

“Neither of these two important institutions, the legislative branch and the executive branch, could be allowed to fail. Public services have to be delivered . . . and therefore the two sides reach broad agreement on how these two institutions . . . will continue to function,” Granger said.

He said regarding general and regional elections, the government has had legal recourse to the courts in order to determine the validity of the votes cast in the National assembly during the motion of no confidence.

“This is quite legitimate and there is no intention on the part of the two parties to derail the constitutional or legislative process. We have agreed that the two sides will continue to work together, to engage GECOM (Guyana Elections Commission) to ensure that elections are held within the administrative capabilities of the Guyana Elections Commission.”

As he emerged from the meeting Jagdeo told reporters that “it was a good meeting so far” and Attorney General Carl; Greenidge told reporters that the meeting was a win for everybody without elaborating.

A joint communique is expected to be issued later and Jagdeo and members of his delegation are expected to host a news conference at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. (CMC)