[www.inewsguyana.com] – The decision by President Donald Ramotar to prorogue the Parliament, was the focus of a meeting convened with civil society stakeholders at the presidential complex yesterday, November 11.
The meeting which saw participation by a wide cross-section of civil society featured frank and open discussions of the way forward for both sides of the political divide, along with the rest of the Guyanese society.
Some of the stakeholders shared their views with the Government Information Agency (GINA) after the close to two- hour meeting, on the Head of State’s decision and what they feel is the way forward.
Member of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and one time minister in the PNC administration, Christopher Nascimento agreed that the president’s decision to prorogue the Parliament was constitutional, in keeping with the law and to facilitate dialogue.
“Article 13 of our constitution does provide for civil society to become directly involved in that dialogue”.
He added that due to its nature, politics is confrontational and partisan; hence it is time that civil society which is bi-partisan “offer its services, get involved and be present, and participate in facilitating that dialogue”.
Head of the PSC, Ramesh Persaud said that like the Head of State, he too is optimistic that dialogue was result in a cessation of the current parliamentary issues.
“We in the private sector would like to see such a dialogue take place and hope that it would happen as quickly as possible,” Persaud said.
Operations Manager at Air Services Limited, Annette Arjune- Martins, expressed her optimism that all the politicians will “put Guyana first” as stakeholders are concerned and looking forward to some sort of resolution.
Businessman, Terry Singh was of the opinion that both sides should meet in a public domain to debate the contentious issues and work their differences out, as “both sides think they are right”.
Lincoln Lewis of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, said, “If they have problems they have to go in parliament and sort it out. We have given up authority to the politicians and we expect them to go there and work it out on our behalf”.
Chairman of the John Fernandes group of Companies, Chris Fernandes said, “We have to find a way to bring both political parties together, as a country we have to find a solution. Regardless of how we got where we are, we need to find a way to get out of where we are, and the only way is by dialogue”.
President Ramotar officially prorogued Parliament and expressed government’s willingness to enter into dialogue to resolve several national issues before the National Assembly. [Extracted and modified from GINA]