‘Show them how participatory democracy works’

Minister Mc Coy tells youth parliamentarians
As the 7th youth parliament opens

Youth Parliamentarians were urged to show the country’s political opposition how Guyana’s parliamentary and participatory democracy can work seamlessly in addressing the issues which confront all Guyanese in a civil, mature, and respectful manner.

They were urged to “capture fulsomely all issues at stake” by the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame Mc Coy.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Hon Kwame Mc Coy

According to Minister Mc Coy, who delivered remarks at the 7th National Youth Parliament on Friday, debates add value to Guyana’s thriving democracy and show the young people the importance of dialogue, consensus, and compromise.

“While you examine and debate topical and pertinent issues impacting today’s youth in Guyana, ensure that you are resounding in your collective voice in support of the sanctity of our democratic values that underpin the adherence to the rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution of Guyana”, Minister Mc Coy told them.

He was adamant that they must be cognizant of the path Guyana is on now with the alignment of the national backbone infrastructure that will support a robust and sustainable, multi-dimensional economy.

Minister Mc Coy charged the parliamentarians to “recognise that the unprecedented investments in education, health care, the traditional productive sectors and social services, the cost of energy and technology will elevate the Guyanese society on par with the developed countries. Concomitantly, you must also recognise that for such an expansive transformation, to properly take root and to redound to the benefit of all Guyanese, we must all be involved and we all must be consumed with the task at hand”.

The minister highlighted to them the serious nature of the work of parliament urging them to show the opposition that participatory democracy is still alive in Guyana.

Ensure that you capture fulsomely all the issues that are at stake…And most importantly, the eschewing of narrow, and selfish political ideologies that are designed to undermine the one Guyana concept for which we strive, and the modern, empowering Guyana for which we yearn…”, he said.

Minister Mc Coy went on to state the perspectives of all the youth parliamentarians, through spirited but respectful debates on these and many issues, will no doubt add tremendous value to Guyana’s sacred democracy.

“So, on this the second anniversary of the triumph of democracy, in that let your unambiguous position be known to those who brazenly attempted to subvert our Constitution. Those who sought to make a mockery of the National Assembly whose umbrella now, shades. You show them now how participatory democracy works and how it should be upheld”, Minister Mc Coy said.

Minister Mc Coy’s address comes on the heels of the National Assembly voting to suspend eight members of the opposition from parliamentary sittings because of their offensive conduct and continued bullyism in parliament.

He is convinced that there is no place for such behaviour in parliamentary, participatory, or national affairs. He has also called for the young parliamentarians to be an example to those parliamentarians and the youth population of Guyana

The opening ceremony also marked the observance of International Youth Day under the theme, of “intergenerational solidarity” on August 12, 2022. Also, President Dr. Irfaan Ali launched his national Youth Advisory Council on International Youth Day. The Council is made up of young people from across Guyana, from various backgrounds, and with a wide array of skillset.

This year, there will be 40 participants in the junior category and 46 in the senior category. The 7th Annual Youth Parliament will be held from August 12-18 with the motto “Our Generation, Our Voice to Inspire, Encourage, Impact”.

This year’s activities will adapt a hybrid format with a virtual opening and training sessions from Friday, August 12, to Monday, August 15, 2022. Physical sittings will be held in the Chamber of the Public Buildings, Brickdam, Georgetown, on Wednesday, August 17, and Thursday, August 18, 2022.

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