He made this call while participating in a two-day regional forum on “strengthening regulation of political parties and political financing systems in the Caribbean.”
A release from APNU said that the forum on May 8-9, held in Barbados was sponsored by the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. It was attended by representatives from government and opposition parties from 14 Caricom states.
The OAS presented a ‘draft model law on the regulation of political parties and political financing systems’. Granger’s response was that emphasis should be placed on strengthening ‘representation’ of citizens rather than ‘regulation’ of parties. He pointed out that Caribbean constitutions guaranteed freedom of association and the political system should aim at reinforcing, rather than restricting, that freedom.
The release said that Granger added that, in the case of Guyana, the governing party’s control and abuse of the state media, access to transportation assets to travel to the hinterland, excessive powers of the head of state in the presidential-parliamentary system and the risk of contamination of the political process by ‘dirty money’ from the drug trade needed to be addressed.
The forum was declared open by Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart and was addressed by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, the release added.