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Opposition, govt tangle on outreaches to Afro-Guyanese communities

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 July 2022, 13:13 by Denis Chabrol

Public Service Minister Sonia Parag                 APNU+AFC parliamentarian Nima Flue-Bess.

The governing People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPPC) boast that it has been working to resolve issues in Afro-Guyanese communities has been greeted by a sharp reaction from the opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).

Public Service Minister Sonia Parag told the National Assembly that her administration’s outreach to communities in all 10 administrative regions appeared to be endangering the opposition. “I suppose it becomes a threat to the opposition when we are doing what we have to do for the people,” she said.  Ms. Parag believed that the opposition was being “affected” by the government being in places such as Region 10 =, Buxton, Mocha and “treating all the citizens equally as they deserve.”

According to her, APNU+AFC parliamentarian, Jermaine Figueira’s contribution to a debate on the payment of government workers within a reasonable time focussed almost entirely on a spike in cost of living to create the impression that government was doing nothing for Guyanese.

APNU+AFC parliamentarian, Nima Flue-Bess responded to Ms. Parag’s contention, saying that it was the government’s declared intention to serve all of Guyana. “If you go to Buxton, you go to Linden and you go to Mocha-Arcadia and not Mocha to serve the people, it’s your responsibility. You are in government and you are responsible for serving all people regardless of where they are located,” she said.

The parliamentarian, whose political work is mostly on the East Bank Demerara, told the government side of the House that they are duty bound to work in all communities rather than brag about it. “That shouldn’t be something that you should stand here to say as though like you’re doing us a favour. You’re serving the people of Guyana. That is expected of you,” Ms. Flue-Bess added.

The Irfaan Ali-led administration has over the past two years been aggressively meeting with residents in both its Indo-Guyanese stronghold and the Afro-Guyanese stronghold of the People’s National Congress Reform-led coalition of APNU+AFC.

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has on a number of occasions pledged to engage Indo-Guyanese communities. He told Demerara Waves Online News on Thursday that he has visited Bush Lot, Corriverton, Black Bush Polder, Anna Regina, Charity among others “and all of those were publicized.”