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|Jagdeo’s personal acquisitions are clear cut and above board –legality of former President’s wealth clarified|
|Wednesday, 05 September 2012 22:59|
THE contention by the Parliamentary Opposition that Bharrat Jagdeo, while serving as Head of State, acquired more wealth than any other president of
Guyana can be viewed as a justifiable non-issue and a clear case of fixation with the former leader.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs of Guyana, Anil Nandlall clearly indicated that the issue is nothing more than obsession, as the former president received what other Guyanese got under the Ministry of Housing’s programme.
“The difference between Mr. Jagdeo and every other President in this country is that he took power in his thirties. He didn’t own anything, he came back from studies, he worked and he acquired as he was working. He was the only President that is distinguished in that respect,” Mr. Nandlall said. The former president’s record reflects this.
He obtained a Master’s Degree in Economics in 1990, and worked as an economist in the State Planning Secretariat until the October 1992 election. After this he became Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance. Jagdeo was appointed as Junior Minister of Finance in October 1993. In the Cabinet, he was promoted to Senior Minister of Finance in May 1995. On August 8, 1999, Janet Jagan announced that she was resigning as President for health reasons, and that Jagdeo would be her successor.
Because the Prime Minister is the President’s legal successor, Jagdeo took office as Prime Minister on August 9, so that he would be positioned to succeed Jagan. He was then sworn in as President on August 11 – at age 35, making him one of the youngest Heads of State in the world. Jagdeo was re-elected for another five-year term on August 28, 2006, and in late 2011 he completed his tenure.
This record indicates very high-paying positions that come with numerous allowances and benefits. Why then should Jagdeo not have acquired wealth and property?
AG Nandlall stated that Jagdeo, as President, netted a tax free salary of close to $1M per month, along with other benefits. He therefore, had the wherewithal then, and had, even before from his savings garnered from his previous jobs, to construct a house, and sell it for G$120M.
The selling price is a non-issue since any real estate agent could explain the “buy low sell high” mode of the property dealership environment.
By this time, Jagdeo’s two- term tenure as Head of State was approaching its end; he did then what any sensible man would do; he prepared to retire from the Presidency without losing his social standing locally, regionally and internationally.
When another piece of land was made available for distribution to a certain quality of Guyanese office holders, a category in which the former president fell, he naturally took advantage of it. So did other ministers of the government, former Commissioners of Police and CARICOM Secretariat officials, who were also publicly offered land for sale.
Jagdeo had no property at the time he ascended to the Presidency of Guyana, unlike every other president. Forbes Burnham, Desmond Hoyte, and the Jagans (Cheddi and Janet) all owned property at the time they took office.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 23:02|
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