During the opening session of the National Assembly on Thursday, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton moved a motion, which he deemed as definite matters of urgent importance, to have the National Assembly examine allegations of corruption levelled against Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo by US-based Vice News.
“It is in that context, Mr. Speaker, and the fact that corruption is rampant in this society that I rise to request an adjournment on definite matters of urgent importance so that this house can entertain…so that we can see and put in place an international investigative team that can investigate and arrive at a conclusion based on law,” Norton posited.
However, Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir denied the request on the basis that it was not a matter of urgency or public importance.
Nadir said, “The other consideration I had to look at is the basis for the request, and the basis for that request are media allegations of corruption, and I have seen in the media many such allegations of corruption against many current members of this assembly.”
He added, “And if we have to take every allegation in the press on any issue, then as a matter of urgent public importance, then we’re going to have, in my view, a parliament that will be considerably debased.”
U.S-based VICE News streamed two documentaries on Guyana, with the first one seeking to uncover whether Dr Jagdeo takes bribes from Chinese companies before awarding them contracts.
However, the documentary, which investigative journalist Isobel Yeung did, failed to link the VP to any corrupt transactions with Chinese companies.
VP Jagdeo has denied these claims and noted that he would be taking legal actions against “Su Zhirong” since he has tarnished his reputation.
Since the report, the main opposition – the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU + AFC), has called for Vice President Jagdeo’s resignation.
But President Irfaan Ali had called out Vice News for being sensational while noting that his Government is “above board.”