Corbin denies considering Jagdeo third term proposal

Kaieteur News
May 11, 2007

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Opposition Leader, Robert Corbin, has vehemently denied that he is considering a proposal to amend the Constitution to allow President Bharrat Jagdeo a third term in office.

“I have not even considered the matter…I am hearing about this for the first time, but I would like to think that there are more important issues affecting the people of this country than to divert attention to talk about that…I think that it is preposterous without us looking at the more fundamental issue of constitutional reform,” Corbin said.

Fielding questions from reporters at the party's weekly press briefing, yesterday, Corbin said that so far he and the President have held talks surrounding Local Government Elections and reforms of the Constitution to facilitate the holding of those elections.

“Those were the matters and only matters discussed…I would be very amused if such a suggestion is made,” Corbin said, in reference to reports that he and President Jagdeo had discussed a constitutional amendment for President Jagdeo to have a third term.

Once President Jagdeo decides to contest for a third term, he will need the backing from two-thirds of the members in the National Assembly voting to amend the Constitution to allow for another five-year term in office.

At present, the constitution only allows for two consecutive terms.

Corbin and President Jagdeo have held several official discussions in recent times, the most recent being during the swearing-in of Vincent Alexander as a Commissioner on the Guyana Elections Commission.

A Government source also denied that discussions had taken place on issue, noting that the government is not inclined to alter the Constitution to facilitate such a move.

Pressed by reporters on whether or not the third term proposal was part of a deal to introduce Shared Governance, Corbin stated that the two issues were irrelevant.

“Shared Governance doesn't have to do with a personality; it has to do with institutional changes to provide for the involvement of major stakeholders in managing the economy and I don't see the two issues are relevant at all,” Corbin stated.

According to the PNCR Leader, the party is more concerned about the work of the Task Force on Local Government Reform and has renamed Vincent Alexander and Basil Williams to continue on that Task Force.

He said that the party is yet to name another person who will sit on the bi-partisan body alongside the People's Progress Party/ Civic nominees.
So far the ruling party has named Clinton Collymore and Ganga Persaud as its representatives.