Sep 02, 2020 News
– Harmon says after sworn in as Opposition Leader
Joseph Harmon, who was yesterday unanimously elected as the Opposition Leader, promises to hold the feet of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) government to the fire, as one of the party’s main oppositional functions.
During the Opening of the 12th Parliament of Guyana, held yesterday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) at Liliendaal, because of COVID-19 precautions, Harmon expressed feelings of “mixed emotions”.
“I am indeed humbled and honoured to have been sworn in as Leader of the Opposition but I am cognizant and convinced that being in Opposition is not our rightful place. We were ousted from government by fraudulent means.”
Nevertheless, he believes that the A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition was legitimately elected to the Parliament.
“I am honoured and privileged to lead this young, diverse and dynamic team of Parliamentarians,” the new Opposition Leader said.
He was a former Minister of State of the Coalition before he was forced to step down because he also held US citizenship.
“This team is the most diverse team of Parliamentarians in the history of Guyana. We all are, but our young parliamentarians and our women parliamentarians in particular, are brimming with enthusiasm and eagerness to get the people’s work done. Much of this work will be done in the communities, meeting citizens eyeball to eyeball. This will ensure the issues we raise in the National Assembly will be those that are raised by the people themselves and that will benefit them.”
He sought to remind the press that Parliament is the highest level of decision-making in the country, “and therefore as legislators we have to understand that impartiality is an important thing in what we do. I trust that I will provide the quality of leadership that is necessary at this time for all of Guyana”.
Harmon further stated: “I can assure you and all of Guyana that we will ensure that every day, starting from today, the PPP/C will know that it will not be business as usual. Critical support as it related to issues of sovereignty of our national and other matters are determined to be of public interest. We are committed to a robust and legislative agenda…”
Debates will proceed on the APNU+AFC’s highly touted “Decade of Development”, with four main pillars focused on the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), technology, education and petroleum.
Meanwhile, the former Director of Sports under the former administration, Christopher Jones, was sworn in as the opposition’s Chief Whip.
Jones would have been the forefront of the Coalition’s campaign.
There are two Chief Whips: one on the Government’s side and one on the Opposition’s side.
In carrying out his/her duties, he/she is directly responsible to the Prime Minister and Leader of the House and/or Leader of the Opposition, respectively.
He/she sits on the Government’s side with his/her counterpart of the largest Opposition Party constitutes the usual channels through which consultations are held with other parties and members about business arrangements and other matters of concern of the House.
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