This past week, as is required under the constitution, the President met with the leader of the Opposition for consultations on the appointment of certain officials and offices.
While the constitution only mandates agreement for certain offices such as that of substantive commissioner of police, in most other cases the president is merely requited to consult meaningfully.
These consultations are far removed from the past when Forbes Burnham would call in Cheddi Jagan, and after giving him his few minutes would declare, “I have consulted.”
In a later decision of the courts of Guyana, the question of what constituted meaningful consultation was discussed and this decision formed the basis of the constitutional reforms that spelt out what constitutes meaningful consultation.
The meeting this past week between the president and the leader of the opposition was noteworthy for two important reasons. Firstly, there was an absence of rancor before the meeting.
Despite the fact that the government is at serious odds over the conduct of the combined parliamentary opposition, there was no emotionally turbulent public spats that affected the meeting.
There were obviously some problems over what has happened in parliament and over remarks from both sides about the conduct of the elections but this did not place a brake on proceedings.
Both men were quite willing to attend to the important affairs of state and this is a very positive development in the country and is quite unlike the past when any major spat would have led to a reaction from the government that would have seen some heated exchanges, a souring of relations and a stop-order on future talks and engagements.
The difference this time is the second aspect of significance of last week’s meeting. Here were two matured men meeting each other. None of them seemed to be insecure and because they are matured individuals they are more likely to have a better personal understanding.
One of the memorable pictures of that meeting was published in most of the daily newspapers and showed the two men greeting each other like gentlemen.
To have had such a civil engagement against the background of what preceded would not have been easy. Both persons would have been under pressure to show tenacity and stubbornness.
In the case of the opposition leader, there may have been supporters who would want nothing better than for him to show that the opposition has a majority in the parliament and would want him to exercise that majority.
On the government side there would have been persons who would have been urging the president to hit back over what happened in parliament.
Matured men, however, act differently. They usually act rationally and what we are seeing within the government is the benefits of having matured persons as politicians.
Mr. Granger may still be green politically. He has not been a member of his party’s central executive and was never known before last year to have an interest in political office. He is also still not the leader of the PNCR and therefore has certain disadvantages. But he has the benefit of being around a very long time.
Mr. Ramotar on the other hand is a seasoned political veteran. He has been his party’s General Secretary for over a quarter of a century and had the distinction. So he is a consummate politician.
Both men have shown that they are matured and that things are going to be quite different between them.
This is good because the Guyanese people would like to see their leaders talking and fraternizing more. They do not mind the odd differences or the odd swipe at each other. This is what politics is about.
This is not putting down youth. It is about maturity and sensibleness. Both Forbes Burnham and Cheddi Jagan were young men when they entered politics and were thrust into the political limelight. But both, it should also be said, were far more matured as individuals than their chronological ages would suggest.
It is good to see the political leaders of our country interacting. It is good to see matured men who have many years under the belt engaging each other. None of them is trying to make a name for himself and therefore this will reduce the need for political grandstanding. Both men are very well known and respected nationally.
Progress is going to be made because of the age factor. And the public should be happy because they know that whatever happens, they will have leaders on both sides of the political divide who are not held back by insecurities. They have in the president and in the leader of the opposition two men who are trusted by their respective constituents and who because of their maturity will grow to trust each other.
A marriage is not on the cards. Courtship does not seem to be in the making. But cordial and civil relations seem very much on the two men’s minds.
Jun 06, 2020By Sean Devers Regarded by many in the local Rugby fraternity, including National Captain Jamal Angus, as the best teenage Rugby talent in Guyana, fly-half Tyrese Prescod seems well poised to...
Jun 06, 2020
Jun 06, 2020
Jun 05, 2020
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 04, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]