…says APNU/AFC claims baseless
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, SC, on Saturday rejected claims by the coalition that the PPP/C Administration does not hold consultations with the people.
The Attorney General said to date, no Government in Guyana’s history has been more inclusive than the President Dr Irfaan Ali Administration.
“I want to reject out of hand, this baseless allegation that the Irfaan Ali Administration is not consulting. Every day there is some form of consultation taking place in our Government; compare it with APNU/AFC over the past five years and it is chalk to cheese. I see Basil Williams talking foolishness about consultations. He held consultations in relation to the SARA Act where he consulted widely with civil society, he received 100 recommendations and never incorporated one in the bill,” the Attorney General is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.
Nandlall also noted that every day, Ministers are in the fields consulting with the people who elected them. Just last weekend, President Ali was on the East Coast meeting with the people on community projects and fostering unity.
“The Ministers of Housing recently had a big … consultation in relation to the Mandela Avenue to Eccles road, that is currently in the newspaper. I accompanied the Minister of Agriculture to Corentyne, Berbice, where we consulted with the farmers about the construction of two roads, one at 58 Village and one at 52 Village. The President consulted with the people on West Coast Demerara for the construction of a new highway from the bridge to Parika,” the AG said.
The Attorney General also noted that the Government consulted with several Opposition parties in preparation for Budget 2021. Added to that, he said, after only six months in Government, the Administration sent two bills to the Select Committee, the Hire Purchase Bill 2020 and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Amendment Bill 2021.
“Why you think we are sending it to the Select Committee? So that the Government will sit with the Opposition, civil society and stakeholders and go through the bills clause by clause, hear from them.”
Pointing to the recently amended Law Reform Commission Act, Attorney General said prior to the amendments, it provided for no form of consultation and allowed the Minister and President to elect the entire Law Reform Commission. The amended Act now calls for consultation with the Private Sector, the labour movement, the Rights Commissions, religious organisations, consumer representatives, and the National Toshaos Council before the Commission is appointed.
Further, since taking office, President Ali has extended several invitations to the coalition to have discussions on the way forward for Guyana’s development, all of which were rejected. This includes the meeting with former Presidents, which former President David Granger declined, consultations on the preparation of Budget 2021 and the recent consultation on the Local Content Policy.