Brooklyn group: Guyanese prez illness exploited

Guyana’s President David A. Granger.
Associated Press / Kevin Hagen

The Brooklyn-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) claims that Guyana’s Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, is seeking to exploit the current illness of President David Granger.

Granger has been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment in Cuba.

Jagdeo, a former president, has filed a no confidence motion against the Granger-led coalition government, which was elected in 2015 with a one-seat majority in Parliament. The government has 33 seats in Parliament, while Jagdeo’s opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has 32.

“Only a man of uncanny decadence would seek to exploit the illness of a Head of State to divide a nation for cheap political points,” said CGID president Richford Burke on Monday. “Worst, Jagdeo’s PPP members have, in a most vile manner, been disseminating death wishes against the president on social media.

“These actions are dishonorable and unpatriotic,” he added. “Indeed, such inhumane treachery can only be hatched in the minds of evil men who think like beasts, who deserve to be rebuffed and isolated.”

Burke claimed that Jagdeo has been “desperately attempting to dominate the political space created by the president’s temporary illness.

“In a media frenzy, he cockily claimed that whenever the prime minister is performing duties of president, he cannot vote in the Assembly,” he said, stating that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, the leader of government business in the National Assembly, is currently performing the duties of the presidency.

“This fraudulent claim is to portray his (Jadgeo) motion as viable,” Burke added. “Nothing in the law prevents the prime minister from fulfilling his constitutionally mandated parliamentary duties, and he will.”

The CGID head said “Guyanese know Jagdeo’s dishonorable hunger for power,” noting that, while the constitution bars Jagdeo from ever becoming president again, “he filed a lawsuit to strike down presidential term limits in the constitution.”

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has, however, rejected what Burke described as Jagdeo’s “ill-conceived attack on the constitution (Guyana’s).”

In a statement, on Nov.14, Guyana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Halim Majeed, said Granger had arrived in Havana on Oct. 30, initially for a medical investigation, “which he deemed necessary because of an unusual physical discomfort.”

“Subsequent to a series of medical tests, the president was diagnosed as suffering from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and was placed in the Centro de Investigaciones Medico Quirurgicas (CIMEQ) on Thursday, Nov. 1, where he underwent a surgical procedure,” Majeed said.

He said Granger was discharged from CIMEQ and returned to his official accommodation on Nov. 6.

Majeed said the president’s medical personnel begun the second phase of treatment on Nov. 14, and that he was “expected to fully recover under the supervision of his doctors.”

The Guyana Embassy in Cuba said in a statement on Monday that Cuban doctors have cleared Granger to travel home following his “positive response” to chemotherapy treatment.

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