APNU+AFC’s constituencies not adequately represented − MP Datadin
PPP/C Member of Parliament and Attorney-at-law, Sanjeev Datadin has called out the APNU+AFC for failing to adequately represent its constituencies in the National Assembly.
This follows the opposition’s exit from the 50th sitting of the National Assembly on Monday with important pieces of legislation to be debated.
Among the legislation was the Constitutional Reform Commission Bill which greenlights the process for constitutional reform to begin in Guyana, a commitment made by the government in its manifesto.
Before its passage, a Constitutional Reform Committee comprising members of the government and the opposition was in existence. According to Datadin, who was also a member of that committee, the APNU+AFC representatives were often absent.
“They (APNU+AFC) made no, they didn’t provide contributions, recommendations. In the end, they simply went along with what the government side had recommended and said ‘well they will go with that, they were given umpteen opportunities,” Datadin revealed during his weekly programme ‘The Thursday Agenda’.
The opposition was again given the chance to contribute during the debates on the bill during Monday’s sitting; however, they walked out, laying blame on the Speaker’s decision to disallow two motions put forward by Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton.
This, the Attorney-at-law says caused their constituencies to be left voiceless in the highest law-making institution and the constitutional reform process.
“The target is the constitution must represent the will of the people and that’s how it’s done, but having said that or not having gotten his way like a spoilt child, you know that when you’re a child, you play in cricket, you you’re out and you don’t want to give up, you pick up your batting ball and you leave. That’s what Norton effectively did, no engagement. So, all of the supporters of APNU-AFC are left without a voice,” Datadin expressed.
Bills including the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, Intoxicating Liquor Licensing (Amendment) Bill, Suicide Prevention Bill, Restorative Justice Bill, Bail Bill, and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill were also passed without contribution from the opposition.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira on the sidelines of the sitting had also called out the opposition for abdicating its responsibilities as elected leaders in the National Assembly. Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill also lambasted the APNU+AFC for having no sort of contribution towards any of the bills.
Meanwhile, MP Datadin described the recent actions of opposition MP Vinceroy Jordan towards Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag as ‘cowardly and foolish’.
The opposition MP and several other supporters barred Minister Parag from entering a CDC building to meet with youths in the Belladrum, West Coast Berbice community, to discuss training and other opportunities available to them.
The meeting was in keeping with a commitment made by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali during an outreach to the region.
“It doesn’t matter why or which side of the political divide you are, […] your constituents you must always help. You see you adopt that foolish attitude when you have a leader who walks around this country thinking, shaking hands with the president is somehow a thing that he wouldn’t do. He feels as if he is being interfered with if he shakes your hand and or he’s being oppressed and saying all kinds of nonsense that you wouldn’t shake hands of his oppressor. Your job is to put your silly ego aside, to put your foolish concepts away and serve the people that have voted for you,” MP Datadin said. Several other ministers of government and groups have since called out MP Jordan for his action, deeming it anti-development.