Oct 01, 2020 News
Before any talks of inclusive governance can commence between the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the main opposition party – A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), the APNU+AFC leader, Joseph Harmon, will have to rescind remarks, which he made publicly that the government is illegal.
This ultimatum was put forward by President Irfaan Ali as he responded to questions as to when the two major parties are likely to sit down to devise strategies meant to improve Guyana.
In his interview with senior journalists, Nazima Raghubir and Denis Chabrol, President Ali made it clear that he is willing to work with “every single Guyanese.”
However, he was quick to point out that there should be mutual respect between both parties. “Now if I am working with you,” President Ali explained, “you have to be able to accept that I am the person you want to work with. So there are a number of things going on, if you look at some of the statements that the Opposition is making and then the Opposition leader is saying that he doesn’t recognize the government…”
Although the election process finally came to an end on August 2 last, after a five-month impasse, which required a CARICOM Supervised Recount to prove that the PPP/C won the March 2, 2020 Elections fair and square, recent statements emerging from APNU+AFC, and Harmon himself, continue to suggest that the government is “illegal” and “illegitimate”.
Taking it a step further, the party has filed two elections petitions in the High Court to challenge the results, despite the widely publicized election being deemed “free, fair and transparent” by a host of international electoral observers.
The Opposition had signalled its readiness to work in unison with the governing administration on matters of national interest as this is what citizens expect of their leaders.
But according to the President, it would be an impossible feat to have cordial relations with a regime you do not consider legal.
He said, “you can’t speak with someone you don’t recognize, you can’t have a serious discussion with me because you are speaking to someone you don’t recognize. Therefore, we have to get it right. And I hope he (Harmon) gets it right very soon because if you come to me, you can’t come to me to tell me you don’t recognize me and if you are coming to me, it means you recognize me.”
What Harmon needs to do, according to President Ali, “is make up his mind and make that very public.”
The President also pointed to the current internal conflict brewing within the Coalition. “It seems that within the APNU, they are not talking to each other, so if we can’t cross the hurdle in that party…what then?” he said.
“Let me tell you this, it is very easy, very simple, he has to fix what he has created, a misleading narrative to the people of this country,” President Ali said, adding, “this is a legitimately elected government.”
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