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PPP boycotts Parliament again; says it will be a “force to reckon with” when they do attend

Parliament Building

by Zena Henry

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is unable to say whether they will be taking their opposition seats within the first 100 days of the new government being in power, but is adamant that they will be a “force to reckon with”, when they do.

The party has promised to be forceful and combative. “We have to go in there as a fighting force. We have to go in there in a very combative way in the confines of the standing orders; articulate, defending the policies and programs of the PPP/C administration and exposing government in all their short comings,” General Secretary Clement Rohee said during the party’s weekly press briefing, Monday June 22.

Rohee declined to say however, whether the combative stand will leave room for compromise in parliament. He questioned, “Why the party would want to be like that?” and said, “I am not answering that,” when further clarity on compromising was sought.

The party said it will not be attending the second seating of the National Assembly, Thursday 25, to debate the speech of “defacto” President David Granger.

The PPP is claiming that to debate speech is “a charade by the GECOM- engineered parliamentary majority to lend legitimacy to its creation and to help foster an ambience of cooperation in parliament at a time when PPP leaders, members and supporters are under daily attack and made to suffer deprivation of their basic human, political and civil rights.” Several outstanding bills is expected to be read, along with the debate come Thursday.

Rohee said however, that a cursory perusal of Granger’s speech would show that it is “replete with platitudes and back-sliding on AFC+APNU election campaign promises that makes the Cummingsburg Accord look like a tattered and useless document.” The GS said government failed to deliver campaign promises; picking out areas in the speech which he claims contradict election promises.

He said government promised the immediate reduction of VAT, and other taxes and an immediate 10 percent increase in wages, but is now claiming a review of these matters first. He spoke about them saying they will set up the procurement commission and end sole sourcing, but has not done so, instead, handpicked persons to head audit investigations without making public the selection process or payment scale. He went on to say that nothing was mentioned about reducing the Berbice Bridge toll in Granger’s speech, which was a major campaign promise.

Rohee suggested that, “The inescapable conclusion is that instead of Guyanese receiving the benefit of a presidential address indicating when the promises made during the campaign would be delivered, they were instead treated to an acrobatic display by Granger’s backpedalling who abandoned every single promise made by his own Coalition when they were courting the Guyanese people for their votes. As it stands, it appears that nothing they promised will now be delivered and, once again, the Guyanese people have been deceived by the APNU/AFC cabal previously known as the PNC.”