The opposition continues spouting lies bout former President Jagdeo
Posted in the Georgetown, Guyana Forum
#1 Sep 12, 2012
I write in response to a series of inaccurate facts in the media by elements of the opposition in their rabid attack against the former president and his pension plan.
It is clear that they have an obsession,
but it becomes dangerous when, in their degenerative effort to paint a negative picture of the former president, they resort not only to innuendos, but also to spouting blatant misinformation and outright lies.
This slander campaign is exposed when, on the one hand, certain sections of the opposition, specifically elements of the AFC, are questioning where the former president got the money to build his post-retirement home, implying corruption, and on the other hand, they are doing some magicians math with their assumption of what was Mr. Jagdeos presidential salary cumulatively during his tenure in office and then deeming the total figure stupendous.
Mr. Editor, here is yet another glaring example of the desperation and obsession with the former president and evidence as to the length they will go, even to the point of contradicting themselves.
Another plan by the opposition is to constantly compare what the former president is receiving to the lowest paid workers or pensioners in Guyana. These very same opposition elements had never wasted time in holding Mr. Jagdeo accountable for the office which he held, that being the highest in Guyana.
Yet, now it is convenient for them to turn him into a minimum wage worker or even less. The facts would also show that during his tenure at the helm of our nation, benefits to these categories improved significantly.
Even more interesting is that the opposition had since 1999 to raise these very issues they are raising now, regarding the salary of the former president; yet they chose to wait over a decade later as he was about to leave office and quite conveniently as elections were approaching. Added to that is the fact that they did not raise the issue when other former presidents were receiving the same benefits.
Their plan is exposed even further as not once have we heard these individuals call into question the salary, pension and other benefits of the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Robert Corbin, and now Mr. David Granger.
#2 Sep 12, 2012
The degeneracy of their obsession is even more glaring as in the AFC and APNU constant ranting, they carefully avoid mentioning that the salaries of the Chancellor of the Judiciary and Attorney-General are the same as that of the President.
Such is their sinister agenda, that it is clear that they have no problem with the Head of the Judiciary or the Attorney-General who sits in the presidents cabinet receiving such a salary, but Mr. Jagdeo, as Head of State, according to them, is exhibiting bullyism, insolence, intimidation and entitlement just because he receives not more, but the same salary as one of his ministers.
The nonsense articulated by some of the opposition letter writers clearly shows the contempt they have for the intelligence of Guyanese, as in a recent case by one M. Maxwell, where he is quick to pull out the 2011 GDP per capita figure of US$2869, but then boldly states as fact that former President Jagdeo destroyed this nation during his tenure in office.
Mr. Maxwell and his opposition colleagues would do well to state what the GDP per capita was when Mr. Jagdeo assumed the Office of President of Guyana, and compare it to what it was when he left, some 12 years later.
Just as a reminder, the GDP when the PPP/C came to office in 1992 was somewhere around US$300.
The greatest fraud by Maxwell and his opposition colleagues is not only reserved for the people of Guyana, but also Americans as the opposition in Guyana have apparently rewritten the Congressional report on what the former U.S. presidents benefits are.
Maxwell, just as the AFC and APNU have done in the past, is keen on comparing what he believes is the figure of the total package of President Jagdeos pension to that of what he believes will be Mr. Obamas when he demits office, and appears to be an expert when he pronounces that the former Guyanese Head of State will receive more than his American counterpart, and his usual semantics follow.
According to him, President Jagdeos pension and other benefits will add up to approximately US$180,000 per year, while President Obama will receive US$127,129 per year.
His blatant lie is exposed in a 2008 report to the U.S. Congress on former Presidents Federal Pension and Retirement Benefits, where entitlements for former President Bill Clinton for that year amounted to US$1.162 million dollars. This does not include security and other costs and the figures were provided by the U.S. Office of Budget, General Services Administration. Again, I repeat that figure is since 2008.
But it does not end there, as it is clear that all the figures Mr. Maxwell bundles around regarding the former presidents salary and pension are merely guesstimates, as in reality, the pension would be around US $72,000 annually.
It was actually funny to observe no other than AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan on television recently attempting to justify his misinformation that the presidents pension was $3M per month, or as Maxwell parroted and came up with the grand sum of US$180,000 annually.
So in reality, the former Guyanese President pension is but a mere fraction of what former U.S. presidents receive, another lie by the opposition exposed.
Now we know what method was used by the AFC when it crafted its manifesto and publicly paraded financial plans to cure all the ailments of Guyana and then some, in the lead-up to the last elections.
#3 Sep 12, 2012
What they are not telling the Guyanese people is that the same set of benefits for former President Jagdeo was also afforded to former Presidents Arthur Chung, Hoyte and Janet Jagan. Why are they so obsessed with only former President Jagdeo?
Is it because he presided over a period of modernisation and economic growth; became respected for his ideas and work in several areas, including conservation, by not only regional but global leaders; that he put Guyana on a path to sustained development with his initiatives; ensured Guyana became more attractive to foreign investments while overseeing a local boom in several sectors; implemented term limits for presidents and saw the country attain its highest recorded foreign reserves which makes it monumentally difficult for the opposition to convince the masses that they are worse off today; so they have resorted to accusations of corruption and discrimination?
I conclude by noting that it is even more evident now that the opposition is comforted in the belief that they can blatantly lie to the Guyanese people about the PPP/C Government and they will never be held accountable.
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