Parliament on Wednesday stepped into the 21st Century when it brought Online its Parliamentary Live –Streaming Project which allowed Guyanese in Guyana and abroad to observe the goings on during the first sitting of the 11th Parliament.
In addition to being able to see and listen to their newly-appointed Members of Parliament (MPs) and newly-elected Speaker take oaths and give speeches, onlookers were able to interact with each other on matters surround the sitting, some even clarifying issues for those who were not as familiar.
Viewers were also able to see and hear David Granger give his first address to the Assembly as President.
“Guyana has arrived in the 21st century with this production. Congrats to the new government, citizens and those working on this production of this live broadcast,” said Caribbean Community Live.”
Another patron noted that “Guyanese around the world can now experience the debates and discussions of the Guyana Parliament and,” and added that “that is a plus for democracy.”
“This is fantastic, being here in NY and having an interest in Guyana politics,” said one James Moriah. Shauna Torrington, another overseas-based Guyanese, expressed happiness to “be able to hear what is taking place in Parliament.”
As part of yesterday’s proceedings Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, opted to address the latest claim by Venezuela to territory belonging to Guyana. This did not go unnoticed but those locked to the live-feed.
“Very very great that the Venezuela border issue is being addressed at this sitting…sending a very strong message to both the national and international communities,” exclaimed Le’Roi DaSilva Adolphus. Torrington, apparently impressed with Greenidge’s presentation, said, “A well informed and well presented piece by Minister Carl Greenidge. Thank you guys for this stream.”
Persons also had much to say about the quality of the feed. “I am so pleased with the quality of this broadcast,” noted Redha Jodhan.
There were, too, some unsavory comments by some patrons which drew criticism by the Parliament Building moderator, who threatened that unsavory comments would not be condoned.
Other onlookers were also critical.
“This is coverage of Parliament, not a rum shop session. Please have some respect,” said one onlooker. Though a fellow viewer retorted “that the best discussions occur in rum shops…”
Some also took the opportunity to discuss the decision of the PPPC to boycott the first sitting of the 11th Parliament.
“If they so love Guyana they would have taken up their seats to represent their supporters and work together for the benefit for all Guyanese,” said Veronica Prince.”
Another, Anthony Will, said “I believe the action (boycott) of the PPPC is disrespectful to the Legislative arm of the constitution of Guyana and those that voted for them. Attend the opening, then continue with your protest,” Will suggested.
As of 3:50pm 1454 people were tuned into to feed, with an undetermined number utalising the chat feature.
The live-feed was set up with funds from the Canadian Government. Speaking to Demerara Waves Online News following today’s sitting Nicole Giles, Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana said she was “delighted.”
“This is something that the government of Canada was looking forward to being launched for quite some time and we’re absolutely delighted today that all people of Guyana were able to watch the parliamentary proceedings which we hope will strengthen the engagement as well as the participation in Guyana.”
The live-feed system is the product of a project which was launched in 2014 with Funding from the Canada Fund for Local initiatives. The project was supposed to be launched in November 2014 but the launch was put off since Parliament had been prorogued.
The Memorandum of Understanding for the project was signed in February of 2014.