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PPP set to take up National Assembly seats

Parliament Building, the seat of the National Assembly.

by Zena Henry

Despite ambiguities and doubtfulness, it has become more apparent that the main opposition will be occupying their seats in the National Assembly at its next sitting for the first time since general and regional elections more than two months ago.

Preparations have begun by the National Assembly’s administration to accommodate the already identified 32 parliamentarians.  

Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs told Demerara Waves Monday July 20 that he has received from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the names of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) members who will be occupying the opposition chairs on that side of that House and is making every effort to have them.

He said that after receiving the notice from the Elections Commission, the opposition members were invited to a training session which is scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday July 21.  Isaacs said that a special briefing is also scheduled for the opposition members on July 29, a day before another sitting of the Assembly.

Isaacs said that notice relating to the members was received last week and the necessary mechanisms were being put in place, “In fact,” Isaacs said, “I started to pay them since that time.”

The PPP has kept its moves to Parliament a ‘state secret’, giving mainly “maybe” answers when questioned about the party’s direction following their defeat at the 2015 General and Regional Elections which saw 23-years of being in government being cut off.

The PPPC has accused GECOM and the opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) of conspiring to rig the elections. The PPPC has since filed a petition challenging the results of the polls.

Last Saturday former Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon said at a PPP press conference that the party could go into Parliament, “earliest on the 30.” He said he could not be definitive, but would not be surprised if they did.

A number of new and young faces are expected to represent the party and their constituents as many of the older faces have opted to stay out of the race citing health issues, other commitments and retirement. Former President Bharrat Jagdeo will be leading the reshuffled team as Leader of the Opposition in stark contradiction to his stated position that he was not interested in holding constitutional office.