Apr 04, 2013 News
Using another method of retaliation to cope with a “disrespectful and regardless” Chairman, opposition councilors in Region Three said yesterday that they are applying the silent treatment in support of their colleague who was unjustly gagged during the Regional Democratic Council meeting last February.
Kaieteur News was told that when the monthly NDC meeting was called yesterday, both A partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC) councilors remained silent throughout the meeting.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) member, Kathlene Armstrong, was last month denied privilege to speak at meetings when she reportedly spoke to the chairman about his dismissive attitude towards opposition members.
The members had been complaining repeatedly about the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) chairman’s alleged lack of regard for their concerns and issues. According to them, the chairman “is very disrespectful to councilors, hollering on opposition members and telling persons to shut up and sit down.”
They complained that when they sought to shed light on issues facing their areas their concerns are brushed aside and never addressed.
They also spoke about being left out of pivotal Council business. They said that finance information, projects and other NDC business were being decided and dealt with among the PPP members of the Council while opposition Councilors were being left in the dark about these state of affairs.
It was on these grounds that APNU member, Armstrong said she had sought to address the Chairman on his behaviour in a bid to have him hear the difficulties of the members due to his attitude. Armstrong however said that the Chairman dismissed her claims and ordered that she not say another word at the NDC meetings unless she could prove her allegations.
The woman, said she had been, “barred from speaking because I raised the issue about the Chairman’s disregard for the members and he accused me of lying. He told me to provide the proof of disregard and disrespect, or I would never speak at another meeting.” In the end, the woman said she was ordered to sit and be silent.
At the gathering yesterday, Harry Narine Deokinanan, an AFC member said that the meeting occurred with none of the members uttering a word. He said that the Elderly Persons Commission had visited the Council to enlighten them on their line of business, and that took the meeting to the half day.
Deokinanan said that no NDC business was conducted. “Since our colleague cannot speak, we too will not speak.”
On January last, opposition members staged a walk out, citing the said behaviour by the Region Three chairman. They said that they were fed up with the man’s attitude and charged that the RDC’s business was being stymied because of him.
Since that action, the Councilors again charged that the man maintained the said attitude and nothing had charged. They said the man had gone further; now using his power to silence Councilors.
Opposition members in expressing their frustration had told Kaieteur News in January that “they are unable to measure success in their Region because work programmes are not provided.”
“If one is not on the Region’s Finance Committee, then one cannot attain the work programme. The one and only opposition member that sits on that committee is not even informed or advised of any meetings,” they fumed.
The Councilors had further blamed the Chairman for the Region’s poor performance last year. “We are dissatisfied with the progress made in 2012.The region is in a state of stagnation. We cannot account for projects that were done in 2012.”
The opposition members pointed to the Chairman’s behaviour as “political games,” and accused him of trying to “frustrate and prevent” the work of the Opposition representatives. They said that the chairman and colleagues were using their PPP majority to undermine opposition members.
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