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PPP calls on opposition to give into trust-building concessions

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee

The Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) on Monday challenged the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR)- the major partner in the parliamentary coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)-  to demonstrate that it could be trusted by giving into a number of key concessions.

The PPP wants the position of  Deputy Speaker of the 65-seat National Assembly to the PPP, rearrangement of all the parliamentary sectoral committees to ensure that the governing party to have seats proportionate to the number of votes it received at the 2011 general election, the opposition’s end to linking the passage of amendments to the Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act to any other laws and respecting the right of the elected government to present National Budgets.

“There are a number of other steps but I thought that these would be the first steps that the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity)/ Alliance For Change (AFC) must take in order to create an atmosphere that is conducive to any forward movement in terms discussions, etc on this matter,” said PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee.

Asked whether the PPPC wanted to operate as if its one-seat minority in the House amounted to a majority, the veteran politician argued that the PPPC is in government and it is for the opposition to make some concessions. “The opposition now had control of the National Assembly. Don’t they have something to give.  If you want an atmosphere of trust to develop, you have to cede something,” he said.

The top PPP official said the opposition was showing no signs that it was willing to concede anything.

He accused the PNC of rebuffing the PPPC’s overtures for shared governance dating back to the 1960s when it teamed up with the United Force to remove the PPP from office. Rohee also recalled that APNU in 2012 back-peddled on agreement to phase out the electricity subsidy in Linden when Opposition Leader David Granger dissociated himself from the deal in the House.

“Granger and the PNC are in no position nor do they have the moral right to lecture the PPP and the PPPC administration on the issue of inclusive governance and participatory democracy when they have consistently rejected all reasonable gestures made by the PPP for national reconciliation and a Government of National Unity,” he added.

Other example of distrust, the General Secretary recalled, included the opposition’s refusal to support the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project and the Marriott Hotel although confidential information had been shared.