Jagdeo in the dock: Power goes one day – By Freddie Kissoon + videos

Jagdeo in the dock: Power goes one day

Jagdeo at News Conference

Fmr. President Bharrat Jagdeo

May 27, 2015 | By |  Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

The first thing that came to my mind when I read that Bharrat Jagdeo, which this column will emphasize was the former strongman, was summoned to appear in court or face arrest were the words of President Jagdeo to striking air traffic controllers.

The strike began while President Jagdeo was out of the country and on returning to Guyana from New York agreed to a request by the strikers to meet with them. He told them that he heard that on deplaning, they had planned to picket him and if that was done he would have fired all of them.

This was the strongman at the pinnacle of power. Now power is gone.  

If the magistrate had ordered a prominent citizen to appear in court it would have been unthinkable for the commentator to use the word “humiliating.” There isn’t anything humiliating about being summoned to court when your appearance is compulsory and you are not there.

The word, however, can apply to Jagdeo’s court case in the context of what he once was – the authoritarian, all-powerful oligarch of Guyana, 1999-2011. Three dimensions of the court case last Monday can justify the use of the word. First, he was not in court at the time the case was called up. Threatened with an arrest warrant, he obviously received an urgent directive from his lawyer to be there and he complied.

Some emphasis should be placed on the word, “complied.” Has Jagdeo ever complied with any moral or legal requirement from 1999 to 2015?  The answer is no. Even during the election campaign in 2015, he treated society’s condemnation of his resort to the worst instincts of racial tribalism with contempt and contemptuously brushed aside GECOM media monitors’ findings against him.

Secondly, Jagdeo was instructed where to stand in court and it was right in the dock where arrested prisoners have to be sited. Thirdly, Jagdeo cannot leave Guyana without the permission from the court which must be applied for. These three dimensions fit the application of the word “humiliating.” It was surely a hard pill for Jagdeo to swallow. This was the fall from power if ever there was one.

How is Jagdeo going to cope mentally with the thought that he has to ask the court’s permission to leave Guyana? History is replete with examples where strongmen cannot accept that they have become a fallen failure. The most recent example is former Pakistani dictator, Pervez Musharraf.

Forced to flee Pakistan, he returned in 2014 to contest national elections, pompously assuming that no one can touch a former president. He was promptly arrested and charged for treason.

Two former CARICOM leaders were sent to jail after losing power. Could Jagdeo be the third? George Walters of Antigua lost power in 1976 and was charged for corruption and sentenced to prison. In Trinidad, Basdeo Panday was sentenced to hard labour in prison after being found guilty of corruption.  In the case of Panday, it was the Integrity Commission that brought the charges after it investigated Panday and found that he received money that was not declared.

So Jagdeo has been charged with racial incitement, a charge that his attorney, Bernard De Santos, tried to get thrown out at the first hearing. It brings into focus the libel writ filed against me in September 2010. Jagdeo sued because I referred to him as an ideological racist. In May 2015 Jagdeo was charged with racist instigation but far back as 2010, I saw racist attitudes in him.

However you want to look at it, the events in the Whim courthouse tell the world that Mr. Jagdeo has fallen. He never thought he would. The entire nation must have flocked to the newspaper stands, their internet news sites and their television sets to see if Jagdeo actually turned up in court. He did and for once in his life since 1999, his existence was one of ordinary status.

Mr. Jagdeo cut an ordinary figure entering the court house, an ordinary figure standing in front of the magistrate, an ordinary man leaving the court yard. There were no sirens, no school of bodyguards. Power had left Mr. Jagdeo.

The man who once told striking air traffic controllers that he would fire them if they picketed him, had to comply with the magistrate’s decision to attend court, and must adhere to the magistrate’s edict to seek permission before leaving Guyana. One suspects that an ocean of headaches await Mr. Jagdeo. I doubt he can avoid and will escape criminal investigation into his twelve-year rule. Mr. Jagdeo has many more court appearances.

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Jagdeo no show at PPP independence rally

May 28, 2015 | By |      … was to be one of the main speakers

The grand March and Rally at the Port Mourant Train Line Dam as part of the National Independence activity planned by the PPP/C attracted a smaller than usual crowd.  [Read more]

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Jagdeo charged for uttering racially divisive statements

Published on May 25, 2015- Capitol News

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Jagdeo dodges court appearance on charges of issuing racially divisive statements

Published April 20, 2015 – Capitol News 

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Comments

  • guyaneseonline  On May 29, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Only Jagdeo got rights
    May 29, 2015 | By KNews | Filed Under Dem Boys Seh, Features / Columnists, News

    When people don’t see dem neighbour dem does get worried. People does look especially if dem used to see de person every day. Well that happen at Pradoville Two. People accustom to see Jagdeo wid nuff security guard and dem know that he gun come out de house.
    Dem see when he come out Monday like a labba flying out he hole. At de time dem didn’t know that he was hustling to court at Whim to avoid getting jail because de magistrate did done announce that she was going to issue an arrest warrant and jail him.
    De neighbours see when Jagdeo come back from de court Monday afternoon, but now dem worried because dem ain’t see him since then. People start fuh call around; dem call friends and neighbours. De only people dem ain’t call yet is de police.
    Dem boys seh that people should only worry when dem see crow circling over de house, and if Jagdeo was dead by now de crows woulda been there.
    De fact is since de magistrate mek he stand up in de dock he get a shock and he shame. He can’t face people. He was de man who use to call de shots. When he tell people jump dem not only used to ask how high, dem use to do de hop, skip and jump.
    Dem boys realize that he so shame he fail to tun up at de independence rally when Donald did put down he name as de big speaker.
    But all ain’t over yet because he got to go back to court. Dem boys hear that he call round and ask people fuh see if dem can drop de charge, but nobody ain’t listen to him. Is things like this that people does try to do good all de time.
    And talking ‘bout good. When dem other boys been in power no nightspot coulda seh that it had a good night if dem didn’t tun up. Irfaat, Chat-3, Ash Knee, and Jagdeo who does only drink wine and coconut water, use to be present more often than de party people. Now people can’t see dem.
    But de Chat-3 got an explanation. He issue a statement yesterday. He see de charge against Jagdeo as a violation of Jagdeo constitutional rights.
    Is de travel ban that hurt dem more than anything else. When Jagdeo lock up Benschop fuh five years de PPP didn’t talk a word ‘bout constitutional rights. When de same Jagdeo government ban some Customs officers from travelling, without charge, nobody didn’t talk about dem people rights. Is only Jagdeo got rights.
    And de Pee Pee Pee claiming how de new government controlling de courts. Somebody got to be sick. Nuff of dem people in de courts actually vote fuh Donald, suh is joke somebody mekking.
    Talk half and know that if people don’t see Jagdeo is not because he buy gramoxone.

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