Opposition disruptive behaviour should not “redefine us as a people” – Minister Harmon
DPI, GUYANA, Friday, November 3, 2017
State Minister, Joseph Harmon during his post cabinet press conference today, said Guyanese should not allow the disruptive behaviour of the Parliamentary Opposition during the Presidential address at the 71st sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday, November 2, to “redefine who we are as a people.”
During President David Granger’s address, Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) held up placards, shouted and heckled, in the presence of the diplomatic corps, VIP’s and the public.
The State Minister described this protest by the Opposition as “unfortunate” and reinforced the importance of civility in public discourse.
Minister Harmon further noted that this should not be allowed “to redefine the fact that we are civil, that we are courteous and that we extend that civility and courtesy to our leaders and more so to guests who are in our House… it was unfortunate that in my view and in the view of many of my colleagues that the behaviour of the Opposition represented a significant departure from what is known as legitimate protest.”
The occasion, he noted was not the proper forum to exhibit that kind of behaviour, especially in the presence of the Head of State and members of the international community “who you invited into your house. It’s like if you invite someone into your home, you try to show them your best, but when they come there, you give them the latrine of your behaviour.”
The State Minister is assuring that Guyanese are courteous and our attitudes will not be redefined by the Opposition’s actions, which he likened to a meeting in the market place.
“I would like to say we are sober people, we would like to keep this civility in public discourses and that we would like to encourage the Opposition and the supporters of the Opposition to let us look at what is good for Guyana,” Minister Harmon said.
He urged that attention be placed on the positive measures that are being implemented and encouraged collective effort, despite differences. Minister Harmon discouraged the “tearing down” of national institutions. He, noted that such behavior encourage disrespect or disregard to those institutions, which are meant to unite the nation.
By: Stacy Carmichael