Nov 30, 2012 News
According to the Parliament Office, on Wednesday, Raphael Trotman, Speaker of the National Assembly, convened meetings of the several Special Select Committees to elect their Chairpersons.
A special committee that will oversee the appointment of a new council to ensure the transformation of the University of Guyana (UG) will be chaired by Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU).
It will be called the “Special Select Committee on the appointment of new, fully constituted Council to ensure that the University of Guyana has a governing body that has the capacity to transform the institution into a truly National Asset”.
The running of UG has been worrisome for government and opposition alike, with the latter arguing that the University Council, one of its highest decision-making bodies, is too political and has been hampering the growth of the campus. A number of government officials sit on the council.
Poor facilities and not enough revenues have been dogging UG for years now. There have also been calls for a revamping of the subjects to make them more in line with the demands of Guyana’s labour market.
The Chairpersons for two other committees were also chosen on Wednesday.
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster, is the Chairperson for the
“Special Select Committee on Guyana’s Commitment to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council”.
This committee has oversight responsibilities for the “abolition of corporal punishment in schools, the abolition of the death penalty and the decriminalization of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgender persons.
Attorney General, Anil Nandlall was elected to chair the “Special Select Committee on the Deeds Registry Bill – Bill No.11 of 2012”. The Bill, introduced to the National Assembly last week, seeks to make the Deeds Registry more independent and efficient.
The Parliament Office said that the Speaker urged the newly elected Chairpersons to ensure that their respective committees meet as soon as possible to prepare work programmes.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Parliament has released the names of the Parliamentarians who will serve on a number of critical committees, including the Committee of Privileges – the one that disciplines members.
The 10-member committee is controlled by five members from the opposition, with the Chairman being House Speaker, Raphael Trotman.
From the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) the representatives are Prime Minister Samuel Hinds; Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee; Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Robert Persaud, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.
From APNU, there were four persons – Basil Williams, Dawn Hastings, Christopher Jones and Richard Allen – all of whom were nominated back in March.
Catherine Hughes is the Member of Parliament from the Alliance For Change who will sit on the Committee.
The Committee of Privileges took centre stage last week after the House Speaker sent an APNU-tabled motion to gag Minister Rohee in the National Assembly. The Minister had been under pressure after the combined APNU/AFC opposition passed a no-confidence vote against him back in July.
Government earlier this week has challenged the Speaker’s ruling in court asking for orders that will prevent the Committee of Privileges from hearing the matter involving Minister Rohee.
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