– as recent meeting disrupted again
As the ongoing saga between members of the two political entities of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) continues, the nation’s national pledge has been caught up in the dispute. On Saturday, Region Five Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal disclosed that last Thursday’s RDC meeting was disrupted once again.
INews understands that only the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Councillors, along with newly appointed Regional Executive Officer, Ovind Morrinson and his staff, stood for the recital of the national pledge.
“For the national pledge, all of the Councillors of the PPP were standing there, the recently appointed REO and his staff stood up and they had recited the national pledge while Councillors from the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC remain seated so they disrespected the national pledge,” the Chairman pointed out.
Ramphal opined that it is the duty of all citizens to honour the pledge.
“They are more disrespectful now because every individual of this land should respect the pledge of this land despite their political affiliation, religion or race… they should have stood at the time when the national pledge was recited,” Ramphal surmised.
He also indicated that he then asked to be excused and gave way for the Regional Vice Chairman, Rion Peters, to continue the meeting, but he was also disallowed from presiding.
Earlier this month, Ramphal had contended that because of the lack of monthly statutory meetings, there was a lack of transparency with regard to the RDC’s financial operations. He had stated that the lack of meetings was also affecting the degree to which there could be effective monitoring of projects that were awarded and he had made calls for former REO, Roderick Edinboro, to be clear on the region’s financial records.
The issue that has led to the constant disruption of RDC meetings, stemmed from Councillors of the APNU/AFC demanding an apology from the Chairman, premised on claims that Ramphal had disrespected President David Granger by not showing up for an event on January 15, where the President commissioned two buses under the then Three ‘Bs’ initiative.
Ramphal has however argued that he was never invited to the event, and as such, there was no need to apologise. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo late last month expressed that Government should condemn what he described as “thuggery” at the Region Five RDC.
“President Granger, who talks a lot about social cohesion and allowing local government organs to work, should look at what his Government is doing,” Jagdeo had pointed out.