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Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs Roysdale Forde S.C is flaying President Irfaan Ali administration’s two years in office charging that is has been hallmarked by his contempt for constitutional values, and disregard for inclusionary democracy.
Inclusionary democracy as prescribed by Article 13 of the Constitution of Guyana stipulates that “The principal objective of the political system of the State is to establish an inclusionary democracy, by providing increasing opportunities for the participation of citizens, and their organisations in the management and decision-making processes of the State, with particular emphasis on those areas of decision-making that directly affect their well-being.”
President Ali, at the outset of his presidency, has refused to meet with the Leader of the Opposition unless the main Opposition, the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) acknowledges his government as legitimate. There is no provision in the constitution where this is a requirement.
Initial Leader of the Opposition, Joe Harmon, has resisted the unconstitutional request. Incumbent Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton, in an interview with Stabroek News (1/1/2022) reportedly said “the reality is the PPP/C is the government of Guyana and President Irfaan Ali and his office are accepted, but it does not change his belief that the 2020 election was manipulated to give those results thus making the government an ‘installed one’.”
During the two years of the Ali administration the Opposition has taken the government to court challenging a slew of unconstitutional actions. Among them include the President appointing Clifton Hicken as acting Commissioner of Police without “meaningful consultation” with the Leader of the Opposition as required under Article 211(1) of the Constitution of Guyana.
The Government has also been taken to court for the appointment of the Police Service Commission, and the Integrity Commission, without meaningful and substantive consultation with the Leader of the Opposition as required under Articles 210 (1) and 232 of the Constitution of Guyana.
Forde is also blasting the Government’s for its quality of governance, its programme of economic marginalisation, squandermania and malversation, all of which he said is emanating from an illegitimate and fraudulent capturing of the presidency. The 2020 General and Regional Elections remain marred in controversy and are being challenged via petitions in the court.
Forde, who is lawyer by profession, has been a key player with the Opposition in pursuing legal issues against the Government.
Zeroing in on the non-meeting between United States (U.S) Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and President Ali, and him gripping about it on his return to Guyana, Forde said the rejection the president faced is obviously painful to him, but it is all his own doing and that of his masters.
Village Voice was reliably informed Jeffries, who represents the 8th Congressional District of New York and is Leader of the Congressional Democratic Caucus, did not refuse to meet the President. The Congressman requested that a meeting with the President include his other colleagues but has received no reply to his proposal.
On Ali’s overall performance in office, the Member of Parliament said it “has been way below par. He is ill-equipped to be president, and this has been absolutely devastating for the sustainable development of this country. And what is so tragic is that the ordinary innocent Guyanese people are made to endure his poor governance.”