Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 7:00 by Denis Chabrol
Fearing that government may not be serious about constitutional reform and that’s why they have decided to hand the responsibility to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wants assurances that the David Granger-led administration is committed to fixing the 1980 supreme law.
“The president needs to give a commitment that whatever comes out of this body will be seriously considered. We got the impression that they have sent it to Nagamootoo for it to die a healthy death and that is why the whole issue of constitutional reform…anything that doesn’t have high priority in government or when they need to make an excuse they funnel to him,” said Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.
Jagdeo maintained that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo is a political lightweight in the almost two-year old coalition administration and it appears that anything that government is not serious about is assigned to him. “What we expressed reservations about was the act that Nagamootoo is a lightweight in the government. He has no ability to even secure the agreements they signed with APNU (A Partnership for National Unity). If he cannot have the provisions of the Cummingsburg Accord implemented in a fashion that accords some power to the junior partners in the coalition…how could we believe that he can lead or any commitment he makes at any meetings that we have would be recognised by the President or APNU,” Jagdeo told a news conference.
Jagdeo said his party would be seeking a commitment first from President Granger because it does not want to waste time sitting at the table with the Prime Minister if nothing will come out of the process. “We want to be given assurances from the President not from Nagamootoo,” he said.
Prime Minister Nagamootoo has said he would not be giving up his responsibility for constitutional reform even if the PPP continues to object to him leading the process on behalf of government.
“I cannot give up my responsibility on the foibles of a political dream. Jagdeo cannot determine who is in charge of constitutional reform. He sits on a cloud and he wants to run the government. Come on!,” Nagamootoo has said.
Government hopes to table the required legislation in the National Assembly to pave the way for countrywide constitutional reform hearings.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has dispatched a report on its recent fact-finding mission here to determine what types of international assistance could be provided to Guyana’s constitutional reform.