Photos and interviews by Bebi Oosman and Shamar Mesua
This week, the man and woman in the street shared their views on the recent events that unfolded in Parliament during the consideration of the budget estimates on Monday.
Adrian- `The president is to be blamed for this situation, whereby he allowed the opposition leader to disrespect him and if he had put his foot down that incident with Jagdeo where Jagdeo make remarks that he has no respect for the president the whole episode wouldn’t have taken place. The whole opposition that had the fracas in there need to be locked up’.
Kureece King- ‘Looking at Parliament on Monday, I was highly upset that grown people with such political power were portraying arrogance at its highest. As students and citizens, we expect parliamentarians to act civilized in any situation since they are our leaders and should be setting an example for the younger generation.’
Joshua Liverpool- `I don’t believe it was right for members of parliament to be screaming rape when no one was actually being raped. Whenever you’re in a crowd, persons will always say somebody touched them’.
Deslyn Pompey- teacher- `My views on parliament is that it was a clear case of immature behaviour and a huge and total form of disrespect towards the Speaker and the position that he holds. We see the occurrence of the wrong use of words that I would say was uncalled for. The main fact, you as a former minister find it easy to just say rape on an officer who was just doing his job, is something that I would say is an abuse of power. Let’s take for instance the story of the boy who cried wolf, there have been a lot of cases where persons have gone to jail for similar offences. There’s a clear understanding of protecting one’s friends but that was uncalled for and it could’ve been done in a better way, simply following parliamentary procedures would’ve saved a lot of time and also embarrassment on the individual’s behalf. There should be a formal apology to the individuals that were present there, the Speaker and the country at large for the behaviour. As it relates to Juan Edghill and his standing up to protest. You were allotted a particular amount of time to present your points and your time was up. If it is a case that you have to query something, it would be better for you to take up that query in some other formal and suitable time.’
Latifan Badal `I never see that happen so long I am living. I don’t think police should have been in there and then to push up Manickchand that is totally wrong, they should have had female officers with them if they had known them did rushing in and it had females in there. Then we see Santa run in there, that place does got security from the gate go in, how that happen? Suppose she or he been run in there with a gun now, what going to happen?’
Alex Hartman, `I think the events unfolding in parliament for the past couple of days are unpleasant. The Parliamentar-ians go there to debate and discuss on behalf of us, the citizen of this country, they need to behave like parliamentarians in a respectable manner, and not like a bunch of children.’
Lovita John, ‘I think these parliamentarians need to work on their attitude, because think about it everything they do in parliament portrays us the people of Guyana. They basically have to set the standards for us as Guyanese. But when the top is behaving like that what example are they setting? My honest opinion is that neither side has discipline. They shouldn’t have let that situation on Monday escalate like that, I believe it could have been handled in a different manner. Think about it, if those people in parliament cannot settle a matter in an amicable way, how ordinary situations will act. They are setting the trend for such behaviour, which is not a good thing.’
Khemraj Pertab- ‘What happened on Monday was totally wrong, first of all what was police doing in Parliament, in the video you seeing all the Commander and everything in there. Secondly why they rushed to Juan like that, was he harming anybody? I just think the attitudes of those people got to change. Female officers should have been present with them, but the thing is why they were in there? I think the government ruling this country need to change them attitude too and let everyone unite. Plus the whole Santa thing, them playing around with the security at parliament.’
Sheik Mohammed- ‘What’s happening in Parliament presently is making this entire country tensed, especially in New Amsterdam here. Them getting into unnecessary situations at parliament when them should sit and come together for the betterment of us, the people who they hollering put them there instead them doing bare madness, both sides. On Monday, I feel Edghill did the right thing because he wanted to question them and let the people in the communities know what’s going on but clearly they didn’t want that. That was an in house matter why was the police called in, see all these things wrong and couple days gone pass and we gone forget about it. I am one of the workers that will suffer when the estate close and to see all of that happening there and nobody ain’t really doing and saying nothing about us, making us feel like them don’t care, which is true.’