A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) yesterday dismissed government’s written appeal to regional and international bodies for support saying it was “very dishonest, alarmist, absurd and infantile” and done only in response to a document the main opposition had dispatched to some of the same organisations the day before.
“It is very dishonest… On Monday, APNU put out a dossier which was made up of 90 articles published by GINA. What you saw on Tuesday was a response triggered by it. That was all it was… The act is almost infantile and anyone reading that document can see this…,” Leader of the Opposition David Granger told Stabroek News.
GINA had stated on Tuesday that government had circulated to international and regional bodies, a document titled ‘Guyana’s parliamentary democracy being subverted: The Opposition’s dictatorship of one,’ reiterating an earlier warning made to the Organisation of American States (OAS) that the situation in Guyana was precarious and warranted close attention. However, GINA did not identify any organisation to which the document was sent.
In the document, government complained of a reneged agreement between it and the APNU as it pertained to a reduction in electricity subsidy for Linden. “Agreement was reached on April 19, 2012 between the GoG and the APNU to a reduction in the subsidy for electricity supplied to Administrative Region 10 and specifically to the township of Linden. The Hon Prime Minister, Mr Samuel Hinds, with the full concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr David Granger and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine of the APNU, (who were shown a copy of the statement before it was read to the National Assembly) announced the agreement at the sitting of April 19, 2012,” the document states.
“April 20, 2012, leaders of the AFC, travelled to Linden and with APNU leaders from the Region opposed any reduction in the subsidy for electricity. The Leader of the Opposition also travelled to Linden and at a meeting there reneged on the agreement reached on April 19, 2012,” it continued.
This was rejected by APNU. Granger said government lied since no agreement was made on Linden. “We did not sign any agreement … At no time did I agree for an increase for the Linden community. The government put forward a position, we never agreed, so it is untrue,” said Granger. He informed that for the Linden community what was proposed was an economic recovery plan along with other developmental proposals to take the poverty-stricken and high-unemployment community out of economic stagnation.
Granger maintained that the reference to APNU and Linden was just another response because of the document he composed the day before. Granger was referring to a 133-page dossier compiled by him and titled ‘The Executive War on the Legislative Branch’ based on selected reports by GINA. The document cites 90 reports, between January 11, 2012 and November 30, 2012 and APNU in a statement said it was concerned about the content and character of the reports, “which contain language and express opinions which have the potential to impair collaboration between the executive and legislative branches and impede the work of the National Assembly.”
APNU condemned the PPP/C administration for “relentless attacks” on Granger, Speaker Raphael Trotman and opposition members of the National Assembly.
“They just felt they had to respond because of the one the day before, but in their document there are several untruths and actual citations are untruthful and are cut off before the whole thing can be interpreted,” Granger said. He referred to a part of the document which says “the government retains dominance of the parliamentary agenda based on the main rule that the government business shall have precedence at every sitting (Guyana Parliament 2011 Standing Orders 24 (2).” He explained that what government failed to mention was that there is an exception to the rule where on the fourth sitting private members’ business takes precedence. He said the PPP/C continues to live in a time warp where it was once the majority and thus ruled accordingly without regard for input from the opposition. The PPP has been ruling this country for the past 20 years where what it said must be taken as nothing could be done, Granger said. However, he added, that time has changed and the PPP needs to wake up.
Roopnaraine mirrored Granger’s position as he said, “The document seems strangely alarmist and really not worthy of much of anything at all… I am indeed sorry and it is very disappointing that after all this time [government doesn’t] understand… Linden was a self-started, self-organised, self-sought movement.”
He said it was absurd that the PPP would say APNU incited when it knew that the people of Linden were not and cannot be incited. The government knows this perfectly well yet, he added, and yet it continues “this political slander.”