– questions Govt. commitment to such a cause
By Brushell Blackman
The main opposition party, the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR), has renewed its call for shared governance as the way forward in lifting Guyana from what it calls a downward spiral.
At the party’s weekly press briefing yesterday, Opposition Leader Robert Corbin said that it is evident that the current Westminster, “winner-take-all” system is dysfunctional and an obstacle to the country’s development.
He said that power sharing or shared governance represents the way forward which will see all segments of society playing a meaningful role. Further, the party believes that this approach will ensure that there are fewer talks about ethnic polarisation within the society.
The party believes that the cycle of events over the past years should alert us to the fact that, unless the fundamental issues that affect the country are addressed, it will be doomed to continued destruction.
The PNCR also noted that the crisis that is afflicting the country cannot be wished away by colourful propaganda by the present government.
It is with such beliefs that the party is questioning the government’s sincerity on the issue. The administration’s perceived foot dragging on the issue is not a source of confidence, the main opposition asserted.
The Party said that it is with great interest that it listened to the utterances of Donald Ramotar, the PPP General Secretary, in response to the observations of the PNCR Leader on the said issue. Ramotar has said that the PPP is open to talks with the opposition on the matter.
According to the party, Ramotar seems to be placing emphasis on form and not substance, Ramotar called for a ‘majoritarian mechanism’.
Addressing the government’s stance on the subject, opposition Leader Robert Corbin stated that “the PPP/C Administration has demonstrated an unwillingness to, or its apparent congenital disposition not to, faithfully implement what has been agreed to in the talks with the PNCR”. Corbin said that the issue is not the holding of talks but the implementation of what has been agreed in the talks.
He drew attention to past agreements that were signed to by the government, who in turn reneged on those agreements. “The 1998 Herdmanston Accord and the St Lucia Statement and the agreements for the implementation of the Menu of Measures, it is clear that a decade after this many of the measures still await full implementation” Corbin said.
The Opposition Leader pointed out that the Political Dialogue, which was helped by the appointment of a Caricom Facilitator, was reduced to mere talks since the PPP was not prepared to make any concessions on the critical issues.
Corbin said that after the 2001 Election, the late Hugh Desmond Hoyte, magnanimously agreed with President Jagdeo to establish a number of Bi-Partisan Task forces such as the Local Government Reform; Border and National Security Issues, including Recapitalisation of the GDF; National Policy on Distribution of Land and House Lots; Bauxite Resuscitation; Marginalised/Depressed Community Needs; and Radio Monopoly and Non Partisan Boards.
He said those task Forces all produced very valuable reports with clearly implementable recommendations. However, he said, the PPP/C Administration was reluctant to implement them unless and until they were pressured to do so.
Corbin said with the dawn of a new decade, he hopes that the government will see the merit in such an approach, and one that will move Guyana in the right direction.
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