The Opposition Leader made clear that the PPP/C non-cooperation campaign will be done in line with recognition of three principles:
- That statutory functions will continue to be performed at the level of the NDCs and RDCs, since, by virtue of being elected, they have statutory responsibilities to the people. “People were elected by their communities and they will serve their communities. We will never contemplate actions that will harm people,” he said. Jagdeo stated that President Granger’s planned visits to the Regions will be met by protest actions and PPP/C regional reps will be not be available for walkabouts with Ministers, which merely add to the charade of work being done.
- That the APNU+AFC wrongdoings and corruption will continue to be exposed, including in plenary sessions of the National Assembly, but participation may be limited in some Parliamentary Committees.
That the PPP/C is a political Opposition that represents all Guyanese, regardless of political affiliations, race, religion or any other differentiating factor. As such, the PPP/C will participate in activities where the Party can advocate for benefits for Guyanese people and where it can defend the rights of people. “We are an Opposition for all Guyanese and we will not abdicate that responsibility.”
On specific questions of the PPP/C participation on matters related to border issues, Jagdeo made it clear that the APNU+AFC has the Opposition’s total support in moving to defend Guyana’s territorial rights, with regard to Venezuela’s claims. “The government can count on our full support here…we share the same DNA on this issue. This is our country, every bit of it. They have our full support on this,” he said. However, he stated that the PPP/C will not participate in activities, where it is not included in the decision making, regarding the approach to dealing with border matters. “We will not just sit in on discussions…we are not going there to be an appendage,” Jagdeo said.
Jagdeo stated that the PPP/C nominated GECOM Commissioners will also execute their statutory responsibilities, given the likelihood that decisions could be made, which are inimical to the interests of democracy.
“We have concerns about the integrity of the database at GECOM….it is clear that they (intend to) rig the next elections…we are not going to hand this country over to them. We will fight that intention to rig. We will do all we have to do to prevent it,” he said, referring to concerns expressed about possible tampering with the birth certificate issuance process, which is under the ambit of the Citizenship Department of the Ministry of the Presidency – headed by Minister Winston Felix.
Bolstering the work of PPP/C Commissioners at GECOM, will be continued local and international engagements. Jagdeo disclosed that the future international engagements will include visits to the Capitals of the ABC countries – Washington, Ottawa and London. He added that a visit to Brussels is also likely to be on the cards.
Jagdeo said, “People must not lose hope. This is not about who wins the next elections. This is about our democracy.”
He made a special appeal to young people, many of whom are not au fait with life in Guyana before the fight for democracy was won. According to him, there are many independently compiled documentaries, including those produced by Granada TV,such as ‘The Trail of the Vanishing Voters’, which detail the atrocities of the past and the struggles for a brighter future.
The Opposition Leader was emphatic in stressing that the fight to preserve democratic gains and prevent a return to the past is one that the PPP/C is committed to – for all Guyanese.