Opposition conspiracy in Parliament counterproductive – Luncheon

Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon says the opposition should not use its one-seat majority to render counterproductive, interventions government is making for Guyana’s development and called last Thursday’s rejection of financial papers a conspiracy by the two opposition parties.

Speaking at his weekly post-Cabinet press briefing held yesterday at the Office of the President, the HPS said the notion of authorized expenditure at the level of the Committee of Supply dealing with supplementary provisions being rejected is unprecedented and unheard of. “What is the outcome? How is this matter going to be taken to an endpoint?” he asked.

“Our contention remains that if the occasion for the National Assembly’s consideration of the supplementary provision was not properly used we will end up in this situation. I asked the question and am yet to get an answer. What next?” he asked.

“Cabinet [at its meeting on Tuesday] revisited the experiences occurring during the 2012 sitting of the National Assembly, particularly the most recent sitting on February 16, 2012. Cabinet continued to be concerned at the attempt of the APNU/AFC alliance to undo and to revise laws, rules and conventions, Cabinet observed, took an unprecedented turn on that date. Cabinet recognized the ill-advised and not well thought out inquiry of the alliance that played out on that day,” he said.

The HPS said Cabinet was even concerned about the uncertainty of its likely impact. “Mature judgment was called for and enhanced changes in dealing with the way forward was called for by Cabinet as they demanded a preferred approach to the issues surrounding Guyana’s development that were being handled at the level of the National Assembly,” he said.

Luncheon said Cabinet insisted that these actions by the opposition must be rejected. “Cabinet continued its call for more thoughtful engagement at this, the highest level of the land.”

He said the President’s ceremonial address in the National Assembly on February 12 laid the basis for the expectations of the administration in the engagement at the level of the National Assembly. The evidence is there to see that Guyana is indeed poised for some of the most promising development in so many areas and the impact on the economy and as a result on the status and condition of the average Guyanese.

Luncheon said that forum of Parliament provides an ample opportunity for the body politic to share in implementing that policy. “It however imposes the responsibility for the parliamentary parties to commit themselves to working with the administration in achieving and exploiting those opportunities. It would be fair to say that increasingly we, the public and persons in the Diaspora are beginning to harbour some concerns as to exactly what is happening in the hallowed halls of the National Assembly. It would be fair to say that the basis of those fears are real,” he said.

But he noted that the situation demands the continuation of the inter-party talks. “The situation demands the body politic investing in this mechanism to ensure that it works and they could be held accountable for the actions of the body politic when the nation is confronted with some of its consequences of the actions undertaken,” he said, adding that it is likely that both the tripartite talks and the consultations on the preparation of the budget are likely to continue in March, as the administration surrenders to the spirit of Mashramani.

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