Newly appointed Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, has committed to begin work immediately to ensure that the legislative agenda of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP/C) Government is fast-tracked.
Nandlall, who was one of the first Ministers to be appointed by President Irfaan Ali just after he was sworn in on Sunday evening, said that the government will work towards an “active legislative agenda” as there are many important pieces of legislation that have to be passed in this era, especially considering the fact that Guyana is now entering into a new economic vista as an oil producing nation.
He said there is need for a whole series of legislation to prepare the country “for what is coming”.
Nandlall, who also previously served as chief legal advisor under Donald Ramotar’s minority government asserted that this time around he is not confined in any way to ensure the success of Government’s legislative agenda since the PPP/C has garnered 33 seats in the 65-member Parliament.
“On the last occasion when I functioned as Attorney General it was in a very difficult political circumstance because we were in a minority government and it was extraordinarily difficult to get legislation passed and even budgets passed in the Parliament,” Nandlall explained.
“I do not have that debilitating factor now, I have greater independence and I have a greater opportunity to function in that office,” he noted.
Nandlall added that over the last five years, the (APNU/AFC) Government “did not really have a legislative agenda…and that’s quite unfortunate.”
He reminded that among the very few pieces of legislation passed were the Anti-Money Laundering Bills which were left back from the PPP/C administration, “because of the non-support of those bills when we were in government by the then joint Opposition”.
Commenting on the relentless fight by the PPP/C and others to ensure that democracy prevailed in the end, Nandlall said that he is very happy that the process has concluded as this means that country can now work towards achieving its developmental objectives with the involvement of all stakeholders.
“I am relieved that this torturous, agonizing journey has come to an end. It has tested the resolve of the Guyanese people that we are a mature people, that we can withstand temptations, that we can exercise patience at the appropriate time and we can temper our emotions. These are the hallmarks of a civilized society,” Nandlall noted.
He added: “There were forces that struck at the very heart or foundation of our constitutional democracy and the fabric of our society itself. But mature judgment on the part of the Guyanese population has shown that we can withstand these atrocities that were leveled at us as a people and as a nation”.
In this regard, the Attorney General, expressed appreciation to the international community, civil society and all the other political parties for standing on the side of democracy.
“We should all be grateful for their contributions,” he said.
In relation to his appointment as Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Nandlall said that he was very humbled for the opportunity given to serve his country once more in that capacity and assured that he will work very diligently to ensure that Guyana is a better place for all its citizens.
Nandlall echoed the sentiments of President Ali that Guyanese have nothing to fear in a PPP/C government, adding that the PPP/C administration has committed to serve in an even-handed and fair manner.
“I intend to play my part in that endeavor, every Guyanese will be treated fairly and there is an equal place on the developmental agenda for all Guyanese to participate and benefit,” he stressed.
“I asked the pubic to hold me to that commitment and to hold us to that commitment.”