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Govt hijacked Social Cohesion from Ethnic Relations Commission- Jagdeo

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Tuesday accused government of undermining the Constitutional Rights Commissions by pushing a Social Cohesion programme, and instead the Granger-led administration should instead appoint members to the Ethnic Relations Commission.

“If the government is so concerned about Social Cohesion, swear in the members of the Ethnic Relations Commission now,” said Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo. After taking their Oaths of Office, he wants the commissioners and staff to be fully financed to carry out their mandate.

Jagdeo said the PPP would not participate in any social cohesion efforts until the environment changes and there are modifications.

He said the major reason why his party did not participate in the recently held Social Cohesion Roundtable was because the ERC’s mandate was hijacked by the Executive through the Ministry of Social Cohesion.

He said the ERC is tasked with forging cohesion by promoting better understanding and building trust while at the same time addressing complaints of ethnic discrimination and enforcing the law against divisiveness. “Let both sides be equal participants in their (ERC) to bring greater harmony and social cohesion to people but not replace it with a government minister who has shown over and over that she (Amna Ally) has a proclivity to be partisan,” he said.

Jagdeo accused the government of having politicians implementing and judging themselves through a Social Cohesion programme that he further charged was a campaign mechanism.

The Opposition Leader said he told a representative of the international community might have unwittingly participated in activity that supplants a constitutional body and replaced it with the Executive through the Ministry of Social Cohesion