– says he “enjoys my respect, it’s his policies we are critical of”Given President David Granger’s recent concern about being criticised by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and his party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Jagdeo has clarified that the criticisms are targeted at the President’s policies and not him as an individual.Jagdeo stressed that Granger was chair of Cabinet and was responsible for policies in the Government, unlike ceremonial presidents who do not have to account to the electorate. He explained that Granger held executive power and was the final decision-maker in the current Government.President Granger had told a section of the press that former Presidents should not be criticising the current President because they had their time to govern. He also recalled Jagdeo and other Opposition parliamentarians disrupting his speechOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeoin Parliament and heckling him.But Jagdeo maintained that Granger’s concerns were unfair because he (the President) has been critical of the PPP as well. “Our president is an executive president and, therefore, has to account for the policies that his Government is pursuing. So, it is not because we hate President Granger as an individual; in fact, as a Guyanese we share common history, common blood, everything else. But we have to point out the deficiencies of his Government,” the Opposition Leader stated.Jagdeo said too that while the President has facilitated discourse with him, particularly to look at constitutional matters, he was more concerned with finding a solution to the issues he had raised with him. “It is what he has done about those issues that are affecting the nation and if he has done nothing about them – although they are affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of our people all across Guyana, then we have to be critical of him,” Jagdeo explained.In listing some of these concerns, the Opposition Leader noted that Guyanese at large have been dissatisfied about a $60 billion increase in taxes on food, water, electricity and machinery for the productive sector. Jagdeo said he has also raised concerns about increased borrowing, citing the $100 billion overdraft at the Bank of Guyana, US$150 million of development borrowing, $30 billion bond for the sugar industry, and the failure to issue titles to Amerindian lands.“So, bringing these things to the attention of the President is not personally disparaging him. The attention that we bring to the public and to him on thesePresident David Grangermatters is to basically ask him to account for his policies,” Jagdeo added, explaining that other issues of concern to Guyanese include the fate of fired sugar workers and those employed in the local bauxite industry. “We have nothing personal against the President, but we have to get answers to these issues. I will be abdicating my responsibility as Leader of the Opposition if I did not raise these issues,” Jagdeo added. Nevertheless, he said he was committed to working with the Guyanese Head of State on any matter of national importance aimed at bringing progress and/or relief to the Guyanese people.“Let me make it quite clear here that President Granger enjoys my respect as would any Guyanese, and he – in spite of our concerns about the last elections – he is the President of this country at this point in time and we must all respect that,” Jagdeo stated.