Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira expects the recent events in the National Assembly will overshadow future tripartite talks between government and the opposition, but she insists that the PPP/C administration remains committed to the engagement.
Talks had been scheduled for the Office of the President last Wednesday, February 15, 2012, but it coincided with a Guyana Defence Force engagement, which saw the participation of persons on the government side who would have been integral in the discussions. As a result, the meeting was cancelled.
Speaking to Stabroek News last week, Teixeira said she was unsure when the engagement would resume, while noting that it would have been a challenge to bring all of the parties together again. She added that it would have to be dependent on President Donald Ramotar’s schedule. Representatives of APNU and the AFC also told Stabroek News that there has been no date fixed for the next tripartite meeting.
Meanwhile, Teixeira, speaking on a television programme broadcast on NCN TV on Saturday, said that as the government in office, the PPP/C will continue to use opportunities to engage APNU and AFC. “However, the administration also has its work to carry out in terms of addressing the concerns of the citizenry and to be able to keep the country’s economy as vibrant as it has became,” she said, while adding that the PPP/C government has always been responsible and will continue to be that way in current scenario and lead the country as it has been voted to do by the people.
Teixeira noted that since the commencement of the Tenth Parliament, the two opposition parties APNU and AFC “have attempted in every possible way to remove and disregard basic conventions that have been practiced in Commonwealth Parliaments, even in situations where the government in office is a minority.”
She made the point that at the moment, the Parliament of Guyana is in uncharted waters as the laws and Standing Orders did not contemplate the current dispensation. Although APNU and AFC combined, with 26 and seven seats, respectively, have a one seat majority over the PPP/C in the House, Teixeira noted that the electorate did not vote for an APNU/AFC coalition.
“Neither party in the opposition was capable of getting a larger portion of the electorate. Their approach all the time of saying that they are the majority and trying to put the government out of government is a serious breach of what are traditions and basic practices,” she said.
Also speaking on the programme, Minister of Agriculture Leslie Ramsammy said that even though the kind of behaviour that is being displayed by the opposition is not conducive to development of any kind, government will continue to focus on the development trajectory that it has embarked on.