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Jagdeo’s New York town hall meeting ends abruptly

Adolfo Ledo Nass
Jagdeo’s New York town hall meeting ends abruptly

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo … after searching questions of corruption under PPP administration OPPOSITION Leader Bharrat Jagdeo received a rude awakening at a Town Hall meeting in New York last weekend, when he was questioned repeatedly about corruption under his administration while in government, prompting the event to end abruptly.

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At the meeting, which was held at Fairfield Pavilion in Queens, New York, Jagdeo levelled accusations of corruption against the current government but he did not cater for the questions which came his way during the question and answer segment.

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A member of the audience took to the floor and commented on the election of presidential candidate of the party, Irfaan Ali. The man suggested Ali was selected for the post.

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He then raised questions about corrupt practices in the natural resources sector under the PPP regime, and asked what steps the PPP would put in place to ensure same does not recur. During this time, the moderator tried desperately to grab the microphone from the man.

Former Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) head, Rajendra Singh, who sat at the head table alongside Jagdeo last weekend, also came in for criticism during the question and answer segment

The sugar corporation was constantly in trouble as the sector suffered from a range of management issues, industrial action and field matters under Singh’s management. The former administration had hired US-based Singh to run GuySuCo, a job he undertook even though he resided in the US

Calls to sack the former GuySuCo CEO from the helm of the sugar industry went unanswered for a number of years under the PPP administration, even as that government continued to transfer billions of dollars in subsidies to keep the industry afloat. Singh, who was said to have close ties with the PPP, had his services terminated when the APNU+AFC administration assumed office

‘DESTROYER’ Last weekend, the member of audience who criticised Jagdeo about his party’s corruption record noted that Singh “destroyed” GuySuCo and that the opposition and others are wrongfully casting blame on the APNU+AFC government

“You continue to walk with a dangerous reptile,” the member of the audience boldly told Jagdeo. The man told Jagdeo that persons are being “brainwashed” by the Opposition PPP, and that they are not bold enough to stand-up and criticise the party

As reported earlier, Jagdeo received criticism at the meeting for comments he made regarding Indigenous Venezuelan migrants. He said the influx of Indigenous migrants into Guyana from Venezuela is “atrocious.”

At the time, he was addressing U.S-based Guyanese during a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Town Hall Meeting. Jagdeo, while addressing those present on the state of affairs in Guyana, said he visited the North West District and was appalled by the large number of Venezuelans crossing the border into Guyana

“I’ve been to Mabaruma, I went to Matarkai area, Port Kaituma, and I took a boat and drove up to Mabaruma. I saw what’s happening in those areas with people flowing back from Venezuela, the Warraus coming across and stuff like that, atrocious, atrocious,” the opposition leader told those present

Some 5,800 Venezuelan migrants have fled to Guyana as a direct result of the growing socioeconomic and political crisis in their country. Overall, more than three million Venezuelans have fled their country since 2015, according to the United Nations

In Guyana, the government, through the Ministry of the Presidency, Department of Citizenship, has been working closely with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and other international and local organisations to ensure that the Venezuelan migrants, whose country is in ruin, have the best possible care with special emphasis placed on health and education