The leaders of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) need to stop behaving like spoilt children, and identify their 32 elected members and go to Parliament.
The press conference Mr Clement Rohee holds on Mondays only sees him pouting, sulking, grumbling, accusing, threatening and withholding information. These press conferences are only delaying the inevitable, which Mr Rohee knows. The elections are over, the results have been declared and it is time to govern. Apart from making Guyana a laughing stock, the PPP’s constituents are being denied representation, and important constitutional actions are in limbo.
For example, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee is a Member from the Opposition. Another example is that the appointment of persons to the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) awaits the involvement of the opposition. There is rampant corruption in the award and management of contracts and procurement which has reached unprecedented proportions within recent years, resulting in Guyana being ranked the most corrupt country in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The PPP which has always said there is no truth in the claims that their government was corrupt should have an interest in seeing the PPC working, given that the party has already accused the month-old government of being corrupt. The PPP is famous for saying “provide the evidence of corruption,” and they must now let the PPC function so the evidence can be shown.
The continued inexcusable reasons for not attending parliament won’t cut it. Mr Rohee would remember that three years ago, even though the APNU expressed concerns about the votes cast and counted, we went to parliament to represent the people’s interests and hold the government to account. The PPP must act in similar manner. Mr Rohee cannot forget it is the PPP which has chosen to cut short its term. The party must accept the consequences of its action.
If the news is true that former President Bharrat Jagdeo will be the Leader of the Opposition in the 11th Parliament we can look forward to interesting times. There is no doubt Mr Jagdeo is capable of performing in a manner befitting the august house. However, there exists serious doubts that Mr Jagdeo has the ability to contain his unbecoming campaign ‘buse-out’ style, which is a spillover of the style that characterised his presidency.
Mr Jagdeo’s sporadic outbursts include insulting the elderly and media personnel, demonising the military, playing the race card, equating his lifestyle to that of Dr Cheddi Jagan and thinking he is the best thing that happened to Guyana, so Speaker Dr Barton Scotland will have to brace himself. It will also not be easy on Mr Jagdeo’s ego that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo will be looking across at him on the other side of the House and calling the shots from the government side.
Messrs Jagdeo and Rohee’s emotions aside, the opposition has a meaningful role to play in society. The PPP needs to do what it was elected to do by going to parliament, representing the people who elected them and discharge their other constitutional and parliamentary responsibilities as Guyana’s new opposition.