Aug 12, 2020 News Comments Off on Granger sets out ‘Ten Commandments’ for parliamentary participation
– says he wants no “cardboard” political party
Former President and Leader of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger, last evening shared his party’s version of the biblical ‘Ten Commandments’. These ten criteria will form the foundation and framework in how the party selects its parliamentarians.
Most notably is the tenth commandment/criterion. Granger indicated that all of the parliamentarians must belong to active political parties. “Not fake parties, not cardboard parties,” Granger said during a radio interview last evening. “They must belong to active parties with constitutions, with members, with conferences, which will attract membership in all of the regions of this country.”
It is important to note that this specific criterion does not leave much room for the smaller parties to form ties with the APNU in Parliament. In fact, when one bears in mind that these smaller parties have not gained as much political membership and support in all of the constituents of Guyana, it ultimately leaves the parliamentary spot open only to APNU members.
Secondly, and matched with competency, Granger requires that all individuals nominated to the National Assembly be citizens of Guyana, as he referenced the complications his government had faced when it was discovered that three Members of Parliament (MPs) were dual-citizens. Parliamentary laws stipulate that this is prohibited, and those MPs were forced to resign.
Third in line is community participation. According to Granger, nominees should actively be involved in the development of their communities and its services.
“This is because, and I call it the fourth point, is that you must have constituency representation. The individuals in Parliament do not represent themselves; they do not even represent their own party. They represent people, and I want to ensure that the constituency representative is embedded in our political representatives,” he said.
Regardless of whether the nominee hails from Moruca or Mahdia, Granger requires that he/she be able to speak up for the people in their community.
The former president’s fifth criterion is ethnic balance. “We are a multi-ethnic country and I expect that the slates be ethnically balanced,” he added.
Granger pointed out that under the current People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) government, there is only one Indigenous minister. Granger compared this to the APNU’s four, which included the first Indigenous Vice President of Guyana, Sydney Allicock.
The sixth requirement was listed as gender balance. Granger noted that under the APNU administration, there were 11 women ministers, the highest recorded number of women MPs in the history of Parliament. This, however, was cut down to seven by the PPP/C.
The former president also shared interest in what the party calls “generational balance”. That, he said, is aimed at ensuring that there are more young people involved in politics. “We have to bring people in so that they serve their apprenticeship, and I encourage young people to consider going into their Regional Democratic Councils (RDC) first. Do not feel that your first service must be in the National Assembly,” Granger highlighted.
The last two criteria are listed as greater geographical and occupational balance. These two will ensure that the nominees are selected from all across the country and that they hold different and unique skills that can be used in Parliament.
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