PPP refuses to sit on State Boards

Last Updated on Sunday, 31 January 2016, 16:49 by Denis Chabrol

The opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) has ruled out sitting on the University of Guyana’s (UG) Council and State Boards unless President David Granger assures that there would be no political intervention in decision-making.

“Until we have assurances that the Boards would have total autonomy over the entities, we cannot be part of rubber-stamping corruption or discrimination or any precipitous action made by the government elsewhere but carried out by the boards,” Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo told Demerara Waves Online News.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson recently noted that the PPPC has not even acknowledged his requests for that party to nominate persons to a number of boards such as those for the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and Guyana Power and Light (GPL). “I would have thought that as an efficient opposition, as they claim they  claim to be, they would have already discussed who the  nominees would be to various agencies,” he said.

Jagdeo said the PPPC would “probably” inform government of its position because his party needed a public assurance by President Granger that the boards would be responsible for the affairs of those entities.

He singled out the recent announcement of the closure of the Wales Sugar Estate and Factory by government instead of the Board of the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation as an example of government’s overreach in decision-making. “We are not going to participate in agencies where would be blamed for decisions that are made elsewhere,” he said.

The Public Infrastructure Minister said the PPPC was informed last week- the same week in which the board members were appointed- to submit their nominees. “This is the third or fourth board that I have appointed and we have not received a response and I don’t think any of the other ministries has ever received a response for a nominee to any of the boards,” he said.

Patterson noted that President Granger has committed to having opposition members sit on State Boards following initial talks with the Opposition Leader.