Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, has rapped the major opposition, APNU+AFC, over what she said is the political party’s “lethargy, unpreparedness and disorganisation”, particularly is it relates to its preparation for the National Assembly.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 32nd sitting of the National Assembly on Monday, Minister Teixeira reminded that the day’s sitting was initially set to be the Private Members’ Sitting.
However, since the Opposition failed to bring any new motions or Bills to the National Assembly, despite Parliament being in recess since August, the Speaker went ahead with the government’s business, as is customary.
Leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon on Monday criticised the move, accusing the government of “hijacking parliament.”
However, Minister Teixeira pointed out that this was not the case, and grounded this in the fact that no new Bills or Motions were brought to the Parliament by the Opposition.
“Every fourth sitting is the time for the private members’ business. As normal, according to the Standing Orders, you have to submit questions, motions, an adjournment motion on urgent public matters, you can raise questions without notice with the approval of the speaker.
There are procedures that cover both days when government business is precedent and when private members’ business is precedent,” Minister Teixeira explained.
She said the APNU+AFC has been “delinquent” about submission dates. This is a stark contrast to the promptness of the PPP/C when it was in the opposition, the minister said.
“When we were in opposition, we tried as much as possible to on private members’ day to have motions and questions in advance submitted. We were very proactive as an opposition to utilise the day to our advantage,” Minister Teixeira pointed out.
She continued, “Harmon is using this sitting to try to whip up supporters’ sympathy … We in government are doing our business. This is what government does. If they are incompetent, ineffective and inept at doing their job, then we cannot do it for them, nor can the speaker or the clerk.”
As the year comes to an end, the governance minister reminded that the PPP/C Government will be tabling the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) and local content Bills, as committed by President Dr Irfaan Ali. Those Bills, she said, will be tabled by the lawmakers this Thursday and are set to be debated on December 29. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]