No sordid affair: Jagdeo tells Norton assets known by Integrity Commission

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Recent allegations made in an interview by an ‘anti-China media outfit’ with Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, has prompted Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) Aubrey Norton to call for the top government official to disclose his earnings and assets for public scrutiny.

The Vice President on Tuesday night emphasised that his assets have been declared at the Integrity Commission – the constitutional body tasked with examining the assets of public officials.

“When you talk about matching assets with income, that is where it is done,” Jagdeo said during a briefing with reporters at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

Norton, during a press conference earlier on Tuesday, called on the Vice President to make his bank accounts open to the public. And, Norton said that Jagdeo can compare his assets with his earnings.

Jagdeo said that his assets include his government pension and rental of his properties.

Further, the Vice President noted that he has routinely submitted his statement of income and assets to the Integrity Commission of Guyana.

And he explained that if his assets declared exceeded his income, those submissions could have triggered investigations into where that money was coming from. And if found guilty, he could have faced jail time.

The Integrity Commission Act mandates every person in public life to submit a declaration of their finances on or before June 30 every year or “where such person ceases to be a person in public life, within thirty days from the date on which the person ceases to be a person in public life”.

And Jagdeo chided Norton for his “unfamiliarity” with this law, pointing out instead that PPP/C officials continue to submit their statements of income and assets to the Commission each year.

He also pointed out that Norton’s party has a “sordid record” of side-stepping efforts at promoting transparency and accountability and did not adhere to the requirements of the Integrity Commission law.

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