Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 December 2020, 15:44 by Denis Chabrol
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform , David Granger has cast doubt on his participation in any of the meetings of former Presidents, saying that there is no constitutional role for him in such talks.
Mr. Granger instead said the Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon should be the representative in such talks with President Irfaan Ali. He said there was no constitutional role for him, as PNCR Leader and former President, as far as representing the coalition and the 31 parliamentarians. “If we are going to create a new forum outside of the constitution, someone must explain to me how the discussions and deliberations and the decisions we take are going to be incorporated. Five minutes later, they could be thrown in the waste paper basket,” said Mr. Granger on a PNCR-organised and moderated programme.
The PNCR Leader has hardly made himself available to the media to answer questions.
The opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has refused to publicly recognise the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led administration as the legitimately elected government and has challenged the validity of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections in the High Court.
Without going into “certain things” that have been reported the media, Mr. Granger said “the long and short of it” is that the Opposition Leader has been sworn in and members of parliament have been sworn in. “For a government to function, for certain appointments to be made, they have to speak to one another,” he said. “The constitution does not make provision for a working lunch,” he added.
No mention was made of the political engagements that the Representatives of the Lists of APNU+AFC and the PPPC had promised to hold once the election results had been declared.
Mr. Granger questioned whether the outcome of meetings of former Presidents would be taken to Cabinet and decisions would be taken and would affect Guyana’s development. “It is a constitutional void. It is a constitutional no-man’s land,” reiterating that he needed to know more about the basis, preparations and if he could have been accompanied by anyone else. He said he would have been at a disadvantage going into the meeting.
Noting that he did not turn down the invitation outright, Mr. Granger recalled asking for the working lunch to be deferred until details could have been provided on how that event was expected to benefit Guyana and address a number of concerns including the COVID-19 pandemic and dismissal of numerous government employees. “People want to hear serious answers to serious questions and they don’t want to hear serious answers to questions…People don’t want to see people just sitting down having lunch and talking about issues which are not concerning their well-being” he said.
Mr. Granger earlier this month boycotted the meeting that Governance Minister Gail Teixeira had said had been billed to be an “overture” for a more detailed talks on issues concerning Guyana’s development. Ms. Teixeira has since reportedly said that Mr. Granger made a mistake by refusing to attend the initial meeting. “One of the things that I think politicians have to know when there is an opportunity out there, and you go make a mistake and reject it, it is always a delicate balance. And that is why politics is such a fascinating field. It has to do with judgement calls that you make, and, I believe in this case, Mr. Granger has made a very unfortunate judgment call,” she was quoted as saying by government’s Department of Public Information.