PPP’s input in Parliament is needed to ensure robust legislation – Harmon

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Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, says the absence of the opposition Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) from the National Assembly will erode the Legislature’s scrutiny effect even as the Party says it may not participate in the scrutiny and debate of several pieces of legislation that are to be laid in the National Assembly on Thursday.

It was PPP/C General Secretary, Clement Rohee, who yesterday [Monday] said the Party definitely will not attend Thursday’s National Assembly sitting, and expressed uncertainty as to when it will take its 32 seats during the course of the 11th Parliament.

“I can’t say again for certain when is it we will go to the National Assembly with our MPs, whether it is during the first 100 days, whether it will be to debate those matters.” He did confirm that “for certain we are not going on Thursday to debate the President’s throne speech,” the General Secretary said.

Two weeks ago, Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, said the absence of the Opposition Party from the Legislature will work against its ability to scrutinize the work of the Executive. He said that the various Sectoral Committees, as well as several Standing Committees cannot be established without the Opposition Party’s attendance.

During an interview yesterday, Harmon said the input of the PPP/C in the debating of Bills to be tabled on Thursday may lend to the coining of more robust legislation, as he again called for the Party to take its seats in the National Assembly.  

Last week, Parliament Building indicated that government will bring four bills – the Fiscal Management and Accountability Bill 2015, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2015, the Former Presidents (Benefits and Other Facilities Bill 2015, and the Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015 – for first readings in the National Assembly on Thursday, June 25.Parliament

It is likely that they will be read for the second time and debated at the following sitting, at which time they will also be voted on.

None of the proposed legislation seeks to amend entrenched constitutional provisions and therefore require only a simple-majority vote in the National Assembly to be passed. In other words, they can be passed without the support of the PPP/C.

Even so, Harmon says, “We are looking forward to the debates. We are prepared for a robust debate. You get better scrutiny and better Bills when they are robustly debated. We trust that Mr. Rohee and the PPP recognise this and go into parliament.”

Harmon also argued that “It is not the right of the Party to decide when to go and when they will not go to the National Assembly…Mr. Rohee is in a representative capacity and when you are representing people you have to ensure that their interests are paramount…it is not, in my view, a right he has to exercise whether the Party comes to the National Assembly, it is a responsibility he has to discharge.”

In the just concluded elections, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance for Change (AFC) coalition won just over 207,000 of the votes cast while the PPP/C won just over 202,000.

6 COMMENTS

  1. The PNC did That to the PPP so what’s the difference get to knaw your History not only Cuffy is History.

  2. They had gotten accustomed to the easy life, now they despise working.
    PPP/C supporters those guys you voted for, worship like Gods’ and defend like lions, don’t even want to be your representative in parliament. All they wanted from you was your vote. They have hang you all out to dry on the dead vine!

  3. I just cannot understand why the coalition is going out of its way, bending over backward just to get the PPP to show up in Parliament.
    There is so much work to do finding where the people’s monies are, what are some of the most ludicrous government contracts, and how to meet some of the promises in the 100-day target.
    The PPP ignored the then opposition-controlled Parliament, then shut down Parliament, which confirmed long-held suspicion it has no respect for Parliament, so why beg it to show up?

  4. Totally agree let the crooks and thugs stay home. They can’t get to bat again so they leave with the ball. Power can be intoxicating. After 23 years of robbing the country blind the PPP cabal find it hard to let go. Allow their supporters to see how much they care about them.

  5. There is no doubt that the PPP and the PPP/C is needed in parliament. But guess what Harmon and Company ? Do the correct thing and construct the relevant legal mechanisms to allow for an expeditious recount of the ballots, get clearance and agreement from the concerned foreign bodies and move on with governance….

  6. No beggin for the pilfering pick pocket cabal to take their seats.
    They are cry babies, just let them suck their fingers.

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