Opposition taking cautious approach to Ramotar’s call for compromise

The opposition parties are proceeding warily on President Donald Ramotar’s restated commitment to engage and compromise with them to take the country forward.

Leader of the Opposition David Granger in an invited comment yesterday said that he remains willing to engage the government in further talks and made the point that it is not too late for the president to consider the proposals by the opposition in order to avoid a budgetary crisis.

Granger was at the time responding to a query from Stabroek News as to what he thought of President’s Ramotar’s New Year’s Day message, in which he spoke of being willing to engage the Opposition. During his speech, Ramotar said that while he remains ready to work with the opposition for the country’s development, he has not seen reciprocation on the opposition side.

He said that last year saw “a domestically difficult political environment” despite his hope that the new configuration in the National Assembly would lead to more engagement and cooperation.

“I am open to meeting President Ramotar to discuss matters any time, especially the budget, we don’t want a collision in 2013,” said Granger.

He made the point that the opposition never disengaged from the talks but added that the meetings have not been fruitful and good for inclusionary democracy. “Our shadow ministers are not invited to deliberations [of their respective government counterparts],” he said. “In December 2011 and again in August 2012 I approached the President asking for him to establish a tripartite budget committee and he refused,” said Granger.

He also said that the state media has poisoned the atmosphere for talks and he wants the President to advise the state media to tone down the rhetoric and the venomous articles against the opposition.

Meanwhile, leader of the AFC Khemraj Ramjattan said yesterday that his party will be treating the president’s overtures during his New Year’s speech with caution, as it prefers to see concrete evidence that the government is willing to listen and dialogue.

“We find it welcoming that the president wants to engage with the opposition in 2013 but we are not sure that it is well meaning,” said Ramjattan.

He said that had the government been serious, it would have seen to the implementation of many outstanding opposition points of contention, such as putting in place arrangements for the Public Procurement Commission, the granting of television licences to persons other than those seen as friendly to the administration and the granting of television licence to the Region 10 Regional Administration, in keeping with its agreement with the government.

“We have not seen the necessary genuineness. The President has the Jagdeo tradition of calling us up only when it is convenient to the government. At this stage, we are treating his statements with caution. We want to see what steps are taken,” said Ramjattan. “We will put it to the test,” he said.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Resource ambassadors raise $14.5m for UG

Education resource ambassadors from various parts of the world who were recently here for a conference on improving UG have raised $14.5m for the university.

default placeholder

Northern carriageway of Carifesta Avenue closed to traffic

The northern carriageway of Carifesta Avenue has been closed to traffic. This is to facilitate ongoing improvement and lighting works to the thoroughfare.

The newly appointed Deputy Commissioner General Hema Khan (left) with Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas. She was introduced during a press conference held yesterday.

GRA sacks heads of Customs, HR

Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas yesterday announced a major shake-up in the management of the tax body, including the removal of the heads of its Customs and Human Resources divisions for unsatisfactory performance and the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner-General.

European Union Ambassador Jernej Videtič (left) hands over the Coastal Engineering Design Manual for Guyana Sea and River Defences to Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson. (Ministry of Public Infrastructure photo)

$2B in EU funding for sea defences

While urging the swift operationalisation of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), European Union (EU) Representative to Guyana Ambassador Jernej Videtič yesterday handed over a $2 billion cheque to Minister of Finance Winston Jordan to aid in improving the country’s sea and river defences.

Members of the City Constabulary in their ceremonial dress march along Regent Street yesterday prior to the arrival of the President. (Photo by Keno George)

Put citizens first

With the controversial parking meter contract instigating fractures within the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), President David Granger yesterday reminded city councillors that they are accountable to the citizens who voted them into office.

Injuried: Dhaniram Tribeni

Canal Number One businessman beaten, shot in home invasion

A Canal Number One businessman is now injured after he was beaten and shot early yesterday morning when armed bandits invaded his home and escaped with a quantity cash and jewellery.

default placeholder

City councillor accused of invading Town Clerk’s privacy

A city councillor has been accused of invading the privacy of Town Clerk Royston King and his family after contacting one of King’s daughters about the controversial trip he made to Mexico with the Mayor and other council members.

default placeholder

Chainsaw operator, 16, charged over rape of 10-yr-old

A 16-year-old chainsaw operator was yesterday charged with the rape of a child under the age of 16 years old and later released into the custody of his parents.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: