by Zena Henry
Vowing not to repeat what he insinuated was the unnecessary cutting of budgetary allocations for national projects during the controversial 10th Parliament, newly appointed Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has promised that his party will not be removing benefits for citizens.
In reality, the PPP is the only opposition party in the House and cannot use its 32 seats to cut the budget or prevent the passage of laws.
In his maiden address as the Opposition head, Monday August 17, Jagdeo said that the opposition would be vigorously pursuing their mandate in Parliament and charged that while discussions might get contentious, his team promises to get their message across in a respectful and orderly manner.
He said that the main political parties made promises during the election campaign and now that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) is in government, it is the opposition’s job to ensure the David Granger administration keeps its promises. He said that the opposition is aware of the “grave responsibility placed on our shoulders although we are in opposition now,” and will ensure that the country continues to move forward.
“We all have an obligation to people of the country on both sides of the House.” He said the opposition approach to this obligation “Will be unlike what took place in the Parliament in last several years where meswere cut much to the determent of services to people and affected economic activities.”
“Our approach will be very, very different. Never ever… seek to remove benefits from all of our people whatever their constituents, whether they voted for the PPP or APNU+AFC in the last elections. We will consistently try to enhance benefits to our people.”
Jagdeo said that every speech from the opposition will demand the promises the government made to the people.