Home Politics Snubbed at last sitting, Opposition PPP/C to finally get its day in...
Parliamentary democracy is grounded on the principle of the separation of powers between the legislature and the executive. The role of a parliamentary Opposition to hold the Government accountable and to have their day in the legislature is a fundamental premise guarded in democratic parliaments.
At its upcoming sitting on Monday, the 65 members of the National Assembly are expected to turn their attention to the business that has been promulgated by the political Opposition – after the Opposition business had been ‘hijacked’ by Government during the recent sitting.
On that occasion, the leader of the Government’s business in the House had moved a motion – in keeping with the Standing Orders – to have Government’s business take precedence, namely a debate, to approve the policies that had been outlined by Head of State David Granger when he addressed the House on its return from its 2016 annual recess.
According to the Order Paper for Monday’s sitting, “By an Agreement between the Government and Opposition, with the approval of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Private Members’ Business shall be given precedence at the sitting on 21st November 2016.”
On that occasion, Chairperson of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Irfaan Ali, is slated to move a motion on the Parking Meter Project being implemented in the capital city – Georgetown.
Ali and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will be looking to garner Government’s support to have the National Assembly call on the Auditor General to immediately conduct a forensic audit into the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), including the parking meter contract.
Ali contends, “There are many legal hurdles and protocols to address, including the yet unresolved critical issue of whether the Mayor and City Council have authority over public roads such as Regent Street, Water Street and Avenue of the Republic.”
He has observed in his proposed motion that “the Government of Guyana – through the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communities and the Ministry of Legal Affairs – has reviewed the parking meter contract and has found that the contract may have violated tender procedures; that the contract is too much in favour of the parking meter party and that the cost is burdensome.”
Meanwhile, former Junior Finance Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill is also expected to seek the House’s approval for an inquiry into the multi-million-dollar D’Urban Park Project.
Edghill, in his motion on behalf of the PPP/C, is looking to have Government come clean on the finances and others aspects in the development of the project.
The former Junior Finance Minister is looking to have full disclosure on the names of the individuals and the private organisation, which were in charge of this project from its inception, to the April takeover by the Public Infrastructure Ministry, the donors and their contributions in cash and/or kind who contributed to the initial phase and completion of the Jubilee D’Urban Park Development Project.
The list of contractors and the process of procurement used to secure those engaged and the budgeted and actual costs for every phase of the project completed and a projected final cost for the overall project among other queries.
The Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira is also expected to move a motion named and related to the report from the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Service.
Teixeira is looking to have the members of the House call on Government to have the contents of the report be placed on the Order Paper, in order to facilitate a debate on its contents and recommendations.