Govt, Opposition express willingness to meet again

– as joint communiqué issued 1 day after high-level meeting

Both Government and the Opposition have expressed willingness to meet again to ensure the management of various issues facing the nation.
This is according to the communiqué put together by both parties and issued to the press by way of email on Thursday, following a high-level meeting which took place on Wednesday.
Although late by one day, the statement is seen as a historic move on the way forward from President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
It said, “The parties met in an atmosphere of cordiality and iterated their emphatic commitment to work on all and any matters relating to the preservation and protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana; irrespective of any domestic political issues.”
According to the joint statement, the parties recognised the high importance of continuous engagements between the Government and Opposition, the importance they hold for the national interest and the elevated public expectation.
Further, it said Jagdeo reiterated his position that the “No-confidence Motion” was validly passed and therefore there must be compliance with Articles 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution.
He further stated that the timeframes prescribed by the two provisions of the Constitution must be rigidly observed, notwithstanding the pendency of the legal proceedings.
The statement referred to Jagdeo statement in which he said that Parliament must be dissolved unless otherwise agreed upon in accordance with Article 106 (7) of the Constitution.
“Leader of the Opposition contended that while the Government remains in office in accordance with Articles 106 (7) of the Constitution, its functions must be confined to the provision of essential services of the State and to matters in relation to preparation for elections.”
In addition, the communiqué highlighted that Jagdeo emphasised that the National Assembly should only meet to deal with issues connected with the provision of essential services by the State and all matters related to the preparation of General and Regional Elections.
Meanwhile, it said the President emphasised that Government is legal and that it must govern without any limitations on its authority. Granger said too that there is no provision in the Constitution which imposes limitation on the Government to perform its lawful functions.
“The President indicated that the Government and the Opposition, by agreement in the National Assembly, can enlarge the time beyond the 90 days contemplated by Article 106 (7) of the Constitution. The President further stated that it is lawful for the Government to engage the court, to bring clarity to the provisions of Article 106 (6) and 106 (7) of the Constitution. Pending the conclusion of the legal proceedings, Parliament remains functional,” it added.
In ending, it stated that both sides are committed to work towards the expeditious conclusion of the matters engaging the attention of the court. It also confirmed that the parties identified Ally and Teixeira to enquire into the readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission.