Parliamentarians urged to cooperate to build a better future for Guyana

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira has stressed the need for parliamentarians to cooperate in order to reach consensus on issues of national importance.

Minister Teixeira was at the time addressing several present and former Members of Parliament at a reception held at Parliament Buildings, Georgetown, Thursday evening, to celebrate the body’s 70th anniversary.

“We want to get back to the days of this Parliament…that as parliamentarians, we could reach consensus on national issues. That is what we have to work towards now.”

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira

The parliamentary affairs minister noted that over the years of Guyana’s development, the country’s parliamentary and constitutional reforms have been ranked among the most progressive in the region.

However, she said Guyanese are often guilty of looking at the circumstances of their own country with ‘jaundiced eyes’, taking for granted the many opportunities and benefits that exist and allowing political turmoil to ‘muddy’ their perception of the country.

“I believe, as we leave the 70 years and look back at the history of this country, and look back at the leaders that we have come from and the leaders whose shoulders we stand on now…we are indeed a very special country, a very unique country.

“A country that produces charismatic and visionary leaders of the past, who have produced young, revolutionary, visionary, radical, progressive leaders in between, and who now have young leaders in government…that are leading this country forward,” Minister Teixeira said.

She emphasised the role of women in building Guyana, referencing historic women like the late Janet Jagan, who became the first female deputy speaker in the world when she was appointed to the position.

Minister Teixeira also noted that Mrs. Jagan and others like Jane Phillips-Gay and Jessie Burnham paved the way for women in Guyana to make a difference and have the impact that they do now.

“We haven’t done badly and the fact that 36 per cent of the members of our parliament are female, and we rank in the first 25 in the IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) for women in parliament…we must be happy with that. And it may not have come about unless we as parliamentarians agreed that we needed to have women in parliament and brought in electoral laws that required parties in order to contest, that they must have 1/3 women on their list of candidates,” the minister said.  

She maintained that once the parliament continues to uphold constitutional democracy, as well as defend, protect, and promote human rights in Guyana, then Guyanese can develop and achieve the ‘golden era’.