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….Commonwealth Parliamentary body to monitor non-sitting of Guyana Parliament
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has offered the Opposition its strongest assurance that it will follow closely the issues facing Guyana’s 12th Parliament.
CPA’s Secretary-General Stephen Twigg offered the assurance on June 11, 2021 in response to a letter from Guyana’s Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones.
“I would like to provide you with my strongest assurance that going forwards we will closely follow the situation,” Twigg said in a letter.
Twigg, in the letter, also committed to bring the issues to the attention of CPA’s Acting Chairperson, Ian Liddell-Grainger and the Chairperson of the CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region, Gordon J. Burton, Speaker of the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly.
The CPA’s Secretary-General told the Opposition Chief Whip that he will make further contact with him following consultation with the CPA high-level officials.
Jones had written the CPA on May 27, 2021 over the failure of the Speaker’s failure to conceive sittings of the National Assembly. Prior to June 10, 2021, the National Assembly had not met for three months.
The Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon had also filed a complaint with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) over the issue.
In an earlier interview with Village Voice Newspaper, Government’s Chief Whip and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, had said that the Government was focused on reducing the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) through its ongoing vaccination programme, in addition to the implementation of its 2021 budgetary programmes.
But Opposition Chief Whip told this newspaper that the Speaker and People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s failure to convene the National Assembly within a reason time had resulted in a clear lack of transparency and accountability on the part of the very Government.
He said the Speaker, though having the authority to convene the National Assembly, had not done so prior to June 10, although the Opposition had tabled close to 500 questions, petitions and motions.
When the Assembly sat on June 10 and subsequently on June 14, many of the written questioned tabled were given vague responses by the Government.