[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud today expressed the view that this is not necessarily a time of crisis in Guyana when one considers the political situation, but certainly a time of being tested, noting that the PPPC government is confronted with a no confidence motion for seeking to do things for the betterment of citizens.
“Here it is, we would be one of the few governments in the world confronted by a no-confidence motion by seeking to do things for the country and its people,” Minister Persaud stated. He was at the time speaking on the programme ‘Political Scope’ on the National Communications Network, alongside Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.
“Usually governments face no-confidence motions by poor performance, ineptitude, non – responsiveness to people’s needs, as it were not spending and doing enough”. Government will be remembered for being subjected to this opposition’s action for seeking to do more for the people of Guyana, he stressed as he described it as a “sad reality”.
The movement towards the no-confidence motion was akin to that of “political desperation” according to the Minister. He said there does not seem to be a willingness to have political maturity or statesmanship, to have the type of compromise that is needed to take Guyana forward and have its full potential realised.
Minister Persaud noted that the no-confidence motion resulted after government sought to restore, legally, the cuts made by the political opposition to the National Budget.
The actions, included restoring the Amerindian Development Fund, funds for hinterland airstrips, major infrastructural and poverty alleviation projects, he explained.
The fact that government decided to reach out, even during the recess period, with a number of discussions, an example being Local Government Elections, the minister stated, was indicative of the continuous efforts being made. He said however, that if there is a “broken parliament” that is dysfunctional and obstructionist, then one must return to the people to fix that, via a constitutional means. This is what President Ramotar has laid out, in term of defining his options; Minister Persaud explained. “That is how you exercise democracy”.
He further described the 10th Parliament as “lacking in many ways and missed opportunities”.
With regards to the aforementioned actions by the president, Minister Persaud said the use of the proroguing action will be an opportunity for the “reset button” to be activated as it were. This move by the Head of State will provide an opportunity for a cooling off period.
“We can continue discussions and deliberations…and have things done, have the people’s business addressed. As it were the ball is in the opposition’s court.”
There is a need to “press this reset button”, he stressed in terms of building this new political construct, that takes care of 21st century issues. He added that playing 20th century politics is doing harm to the country and it is also taking the future lightly as much has changed but much more has to be done. This would be doing an injustice to the future generation.
Recapping government’s efforts to reach out to the opposition, Minister Persaud said that government did see the new parliamentary dispensation as an opportunity to forge a new “political construct” that would be good for the country at present, and going into the future. Despite efforts to work together, the minister opined that the local political culture may be “too infected by the past” as some see any attempts to reach out and accommodate other points of view as signs of weakness.
Minister Persaud posited that it was a question of how Guyana as a nation, “overcomes the unpredictable, the unprecedented, the uncharted nature of the political dispensation that we are experiencing and probably will experience as we move forward”.
He pointed out that all nations, successful or otherwise, have had their own episodes, whether it was learning by doing and once there is that steadfast dedication, it is not a time to “enter into despair or throw up our hands”.
He stated that on November 10, the next sitting of Parliament will be historic, whatever occurs. “What matters at the end of the day is what the people of Guyana want, that is how you exercise democratic will”. There needs to be a reset so that “political antics” can be dispensed with and be much more focused on the substantial and “required steps that countries such as ours deserve in building a better life for people,” he said in closing.
There were no delaying tactics applied to the thwart the upcoming Parliamentary sitting, and the reconvening of the National Assembly after its annual recess in the month of November is not unusual, the Prime Minister said. [Extracted and modified from GINA]