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Opposition Leader wants governance, other issues to be added to agenda with President

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 April 2022, 12:55 by Denis Chabrol

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton wants his meeting with President Irfaan Ali to discuss several matters affecting Guyanese rather than only the appointment of several service commissions.

“As I understand it, the opposition is to represent the cause of the people of Guyana and, in representing them, there will be constitutional matters and there will be matters that are not stated in the constitution as a constitutional issue to be determined between the President and the Opposition Leader and I will push those because I believe you cannot deal with one and not deal with the other,” he told a news conference.

Mr. Norton wants his meeting with the President to include issues such as good governance, and abuse of political power including discrimination against opposition-led local councils, uneven and incomplete distribution of flood and other relief, unsatisfactory of the natural patrimony in the Natural Resource Fund, police abuse of human and legal rights by a number of police force members, and the fair access to the State Media.

Asked what would be his next step should the President insist on limiting their consultations to constitutional matters, the Opposition Leader would only say that  “I make the assumption that the President is a reasonable man” and “if he chose to be unreasonable, then I will deal with it at that time.”

“It is my sincere hope that good sense will prevail and we attempt to deal with the issues in the society in a holistic way rather than in a piecemeal fashion that will generate its own problems,” he added.

He also said Dr. Ali should not unilaterally fix a date for the consultations but they should both decide on one that is acceptable to both sides.

President Irfaan Ali was Thursday expect to dispatch a letter of invitation to the constitutionally required consultations within the next two weeks.

The Guyana government is on record as saying that political discussions,  other than those constitutionally required, would be hinged on the PNCR-led opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) recognising the government as having been legitimately elected at the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

The APNU+AFC continues to maintain that the PPP had engineered the rigging of the polls through a number of irregularities and using a bloated voters list. At the same time, the coalition is on the record of calling for political engagements.