[www.inewsguyana.com] – The gaining of the one seat majority by the Parliamentary Opposition was seen as a milestone in local politics, however, gaining of numerical superiority, in the National Assembly, has not been put to effective use by the combined opposition, according to President Donald Ramotar.
Speaking during an interview with the state owned National Communications Network on Friday, October 10, the President said that with their new found position in the National Assembly, the Opposition should have seized the opportunity to further Guyana’s developmental agenda by working with government to ensure that key transformational projects were undertaken.
“They have never used their one seat majority to say, PPP, you are not building enough houses, you are not building enough roads, they’re cutting our budget, and the emphasis from them is obstruction, not to use their one seat majority to try to push us to do more,” he stated.
Listing projects such as the Specialty Hospital to give people services that they cannot afford now, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion, Amalia Falls Hydro project, Amerindian Development Programmes, and other infrastructural projects, the president said that the opposition is not trying to push government, as far as development is concerned.
“What we have,” he explained, “is an opposition that is trying to hold back the progress of the country that is the sad reality of the one seat majority”.
He also cited the failure of the opposition to support the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Bill, a piece of legislation that most recently saw the Caribbean Bankers Association describing as necessary, in addition to many other international financial bodies. This legislation is so necessary to Guyana’s wellbeing, yet the opposition refuses to support it.
The President said that despite the efforts of the Opposition, Guyana’s economy has continued to grow, and this “speaks to the importance and strength of the democratic system that we have established in Guyana, and with all the negative comments in the press and media about this, tells us that our democracy has taken root in our society and it has facilitated our development in very difficult circumstances and our country continues to move forward.”
Last year, the combined Opposition cut the Budget by $31B and in 2012 by $21B. This year, $37.4B was cut from the budget. [Extracted and modified from GINA]