Corbin says talks with President 'precarious'
Stabroek News
February 14, 2004

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Leader of the People's National Congress Reform (PNCR) Robert Corbin on Thursday described the present state of the constructive engagement between himself and President Bharrat Jagdeo as "precarious" and said that time will tell where the talks are headed.

He spoke at the party's weekly press conference held at Congress Place, Sophia.

Corbin, who arrived back in the country on Tuesday after a visit to the United States, reiterated that he would not participate in any function while Minister of Home Affairs Ronald Gajraj continues to hold the office of minister.

He said his participation in the swearing-in ceremony for new Commissioner of Police Winston Felix depends on whether Gajraj will be there. That ceremony is to take place on Monday.

The PNCR has been in the forefront of the call for Gajraj's resignation following allegations of him being involved in the operations of a death squad.

Information Liaison to the President, Robert Persaud, yesterday said the PNCR is free to attend or not to attend the swearing in, but he would be happy if the party decides to turn up for the ceremony. He added that the PNCR does not dictate who does or does not attend the swearing in.

Persaud told Stabroek News he was not surprised by the PNCR leader's comments as they reiterate the party's earlier position. Persaud said too that yesterday's swearing in of the Judicial Service Commission is another achievement of the constructive engagement. He said that he would like to know what Corbin meant when he described the talks as "precarious".

The constructive engagement began on May 1 last year and preceded the signing of the communiqué on May 6, in which a number of targets were laid out, including the establishment of rights and service commissions and the appointing of a new Commis-sioner of Police.