— contrary statements by Harmon not in harmony with gov’t plans, says Min. Teixeira
SUPPORTERS of the APNU+AFC coalition will be represented and included at all levels of society, as the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) moves to restore political and economic stability in Guyana, said Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira.
“Let me say that the supporters of the PNC/APNU/AFC coalition deserve to be represented and included at all levels of society, and, they will be, as the PPP/C government restores political and economic stability and rolls out its transformative projects to put Guyana back on track for all Guyanese,” said Minister Teixeira in a statement on Sunday evening.
The minister’s assurance comes a day after Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, criticised the PPP/C administration for excluding his party from State boards.
“There is a difference between the State and the Government. The State of Guyana is a legal entity that operates in perpetuity. Governments come and go. A government can be illegal and illegitimate [but] where State boards are prescribed in a law, then it is of the State,” Harmon said in a statement on Saturday.
Minister Teixeira, however, found his comments to be premature and precipitous, as there are over 100 boards to be appointed and only five have so far been appointed by the new government.
“In the interest of inclusivity and participatory democracy, these five boards include members of the new political parties, civil society as well as individuals who have supported the PNC. This trend will continue as other boards are appointed,” the minister affirmed.
She argued that during the life of the former APNU+AFC Coalition government, every single board was dominated by coalition supporters.
“For a government that came into office with less than 5,000 votes in 2015 the APNU+AFC coalition took 99 per cent on every board,” Minister Teixeira lamented.
The PPP/C government, she said, is different and will unapologetically include representatives on boards from civil society, political parties, skilled and experienced individuals who reflect the diversity of Guyana, in keeping with the constitution and in particular Article 13, which speaks to representation of the people.
NO MORAL AUTHORITY
The minister’s firm belief is that the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R)-dominated APNU+AFC coalition leadership, lost the moral authority to lecture anyone on the law, constitution, and customs and practices with regards to the appointments of boards and appointments to constitutional posts.
Harmon’s statement that “a government can be illegal and illegitimate as is the one she is a part of,” appears to be a Freudian slip, as Minister Teixeira said it is his government that unlawfully did everything possible to remain in government for 14 months even after a successful no-confidence vote. Their actions were described as an open violation of article 106 of the Constitution.
The minister said even more offensive was the repeated attempts by the coalition to “thwart the will” of the people and ‘rig’ the March 2, 2020 General and Regional elections’ results to keep them ‘illegitimately’ in office.
It is to this end that she said the new-found “holier than thou” posture of Harmon and other APNU+AFC leaders convinces no one. Even after the elections, the coalition had appointed boards.
“Wasn’t this a wilful and deliberate move to undermine the new government with boards that were overwhelmingly stacked with APNU+AFC activists and supporters?” Minister Teixeira asked.
She said the track record of the PPP/C in government demonstrates that it did abide by the constitutional provisions in regards to appointments to constitutional posts as well as where the law required representation by the Parliamentary Opposition, and, further the Opposition was offered seats on boards which were not stipulated.
“I continue to espouse that the composition of the parliamentary opposition post-2020 elections is vastly changed; the political landscape has also vastly changed. The APNU+AFC coalition has to adjust to sharing political space with the newer smaller parties and civil society who showed their resolve to protect democracy when Guyana was under threat.
“Regrettably, thus far, the APNU+AFC Coalition leaders appear to still be stuck in a time warped mindset unable to retrieve themselves,” said Minister Teixeira.