Isn’t it time for the Vice President to hang up his political booths?

Dear Editor,

Listening to the Vice President (VP) at his boorish weekly press conferences, the inescapable conclusion is he has outlived his usefulness as a politician. He continues to compete with the President and showing who is the real boss.

The VP comes across as insincere and insecure. He flips flops on issues pertaining to Exxon, the environment, investment, local content, and so many others. He fumbles in speeches and in responses to reporters’ questions. He does not like to be challenged. He is insulting to reporters and publications when challenged on specificities. Unless the media carry only positive reports on him, like the two government aligned newspapers, he abuses them. He still has not given credible response to Mr Su’s allegations of corruption.

Meanwhile, the VP is unable to rein in blatant, grotesque, vulgar forms of corruption at several ministries such particularly Ministry of Agriculture, Infrastructure (GPL), Education, Housing, and elsewhere.

It appears he has lost control of key party functionaries and even some Ministers. They don’t listen to him, carrying out President Irfaan’s directives rather than the GS of the party. Is it a case of pot telling kettle it is black and as such functionaries give him lip service. So many are compromised in suspect deals and some of the same players were there pre-2015 before the coalition assumed power.

There are too many skeletons in the cabinet. Some personnel carry too much baggage. They are weighing down the party. But the administration is stuck with a situation where trying to rein in the corrupt is almost impossible. Too many are compromised. They will rat on one another if one is made an example.

While the VP was responsible for Irfaan Ali becoming Presidential nominee and President, a candidacy that barely squeaked a victory, and while he is the kingmaker behind the President, the VP’s interference in the Presidency serves as an impediment to the work of the young President. His press conferences and his announcements of government policies are often contradictory with those announced by the President. They don’t seem to be talking with one another.

Jagdeo’s dominance of the government is not good for himself, the party, Irfaan Ali, and the government. He needs to move on quickly if there is to be any decent place for him in the history of Guyana. His negatives have long outlived the positives. One observed that regional heads of government seem to pour scorn on him while admiring President Irfaan Ali.

His attempts to attract votes from the other side have been futile. Afro Guyanese have no trust in him. And as long as he is there, they will not vote for PPP regardless of how much enticement given to them. Last local elections, Jagdeo spent billions to lure Africans into the PPP while neglecting its base. The party still could not win the African townships. Meanwhile, the level of corruption in country and the impoverishment of the lower class have been eating away the base of the PPP. The writing is on the wall for 2025.

It is high time Jagdeo giving himself and the nation a break by walking away from politics, retire completely, take a rest.

Yours truly,
Chandradat Sharma