New Opposition Leader must acknowledge legitimacy of Gov’t – PM Phillips

Government has extended an olive branch to the main opposition party, APNU/AFC to work in tandem with government for the development of Guyana.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips affirmed that the government is ready and willing to work with the Leader of the Opposition, to further the expansive development agenda.

Prime Minister Brigadier Ret’d Mark Phillips, delivering remarks in the National Assembly during the 2022 Budget Debates

He was at the time, making his contribution to the budget debate on Friday.

“I would like to reiterate our government’s position that we are ready to work with whoever is appointed or elected Leader of the Opposition, in the interest of the development of Guyana.”

He noted that the people who elected the opposition to represent their interest in Parliament, deserve a leader.

However, while government intends to work in unison with the opposition, the leader must recognise the legitimacy of the democratically elected government, a position that was not taken by the immediate past leader.

“What we expect in return is for the new Leader of the Opposition to accept the legitimacy of our government. It is a government that was elected by the people in what was perhaps one of the most peaceful elections that we had in this country on March 2, 2020.”

PM Phillips said it is time to move the country forward, together, and he expects their contribution on the overdue discussions for elections reform.

“We’re looking forward to your submissions on electoral reform. So, kindly have a leader of the opposition as early as possible so we can have the benefit from your contributions on the consultative process,” the prime minister said.

Government agrees that the election law is somewhat archaic and there is need for a tighter legislation to ensure there is little to no room for electoral fraud.

This decision came after the infamous election drama that followed polling day on March 2, which ended in numerous litigations in the courts and a lengthy recount process.

Only Thursday, Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai, extended a hand to the opposition to ensure Amerindians in the hinterland receive equitable treatment as their coastal counterparts. She had said, “you better get your act in order to contribute to development and not to continue to attempt to destroy this country, it is too beautiful.”