By Michael Younge
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall said the cuts to the 2012 National Budget by the combined opposition, the Alliance For Change (AFC) and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) were designed to roll-back innovative programmes started by former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
“If you analyse the cuts made to the 2012 budget, they’re all, or most of them relate to the programmes which were started by former President Bharrat Jagdeo… they have this vendetta against him, and they wanted to destroy his work.”
Speaking to Guyana Times International in a recent interview, Nandlall said the opposition action, which saw a total of Gy$ 21 billion being axed from the 2012 National Budget, was undertaken on the basis of spite and revenge against the ruling party and the former president.
“There is a clear element of revenge… and they were so consumed by this emotion for revenge and a desire to be vindictive against Jagdeo”, he submitted, while cementing the view that there is no basis whether economic or logical that can be used to understand the actions of the combined parliamentary opposition.
The projects which the former president was instrumental in piloting fell under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which made provisions for monies to be used from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) and international agreements, for improving the lives of Amerindians, and all Guyanese.
The One Laptop Per Family Project, the project to fast-track the land demarcation for Amerindian communities and the project to strengthen their village economies have all been affected by the budget cuts.
“They have made a major political blunder,” the attorney general said, noting that it is not Nandlall or the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) or even Jagdeo that will be affected by what he described as the “spiteful” cuts, but rather ordinary citizens who are in dire need of developmental assistance.
“They were caught in a vortex. Here it is that they have this new found majority that have led people to believe is some magical wand that they can wave to transform this country, and now not able to do so… or meet the false expectations that have created… they had to do something desperate,” he contended.
Nandlall also believes that the opposition actions have placed a dent in the spirit of voters who voted for them, noting that they too could easily be cheated out of benefits that could have flown easily from the government coffers to their home and village economies.
“The impact may not be felt now, but that does not mean it does not exist,” he opined, arguing voraciously that “try as they may, all they can do is mitigate the damage already done.” He strongly believes that the way forward would have to be decided collectively.
Nandlall recalled that successive PPP/ C governments have always made their position clear on the need for consensual politics, and the unfolding of trust among political parties to accelerate the country’s growth and development.