By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Labour Minister, Dr Nanda Gopaul has strongly defended President Donald Ramotar’s decision to prorogue the Parliament, by stating that he [Ramotar] should not be seen as a dictator but instead, he should be seen as a peacemaker.
Dr Gopaul made his personal views known on the radio programme, ‘Hard Talk’ aired on 90.1 Love FM today, Sunday, November 16. He told the programme’s host, Chris Chapwanya that the President has made room for government and the combined Political Opposition to meet and discuss on critical issues affecting the country rather than facing the No Confidence Motion in the National Assembly, which would have resulted in General and Regional Elections.
The President has received condemnation from various sections of society following his decision to prorogue the Parliament for six months. However, Dr Gopaul believes that President Ramotar has given the Opposition a “holiday to get themselves together.”
“It can’t be seen as the action of a dictator. It has to be seen as the action of a peacemaker, an action of someone who cares; the President has put himself over and above his Party by doing this thing and say let’s meet and talk. What he wants to do is to exercise statesmanship role in this process and he should be seen for that and not seen as having ulterior motives,” Dr Gopaul said.
However, the political Opposition, led by David Granger, has made it pellucid that it will not engage the government in any dialogue outside of Parliament.
Dr Gopaul asked that the Opposition reconsider its stance.
“You cannot shut the door to political dialogue in a country like ours; to do otherwise is to open the door to serious confrontations. When you shut the door to dialogue, it means that I don’t want anything to do with you and I don’t want anything to do with your supporters,” the Labour Minister said.
The President has indicated that he will call elections if talks with the Opposition fail.
Meanwhile, he believes that the political parties – A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (AFC) – should form a coalition.
“AFC should have bite the bullet and come in dialogue and seriously indicate to the nation that they’re serious of the issue of shared governance and join forces with the APNU before they go into any No Confidence and to say to the nation that ‘we’re moving this no confidence…and we’re coming to the electorate if the PPP don’t agree to shared governance, we’re going to set the example and we’re gonna go to shared governance’; and that would have made a difference to this country. It would have given the people hope,” Dr Gopaul said.
While the APNU is opened to joining forces with the AFC, the minority Party is not too inclined.