Guyana exchanges dialogue on stronger legislative practices at IRI forum
Through a recent International Republican Institute (IRI) legislative forum at the Marriott Hotel, Guyana was able to foster dialogue with US Congressional Representatives on nurturing stronger legislative practices and democratic resilience.
United States retired Congressional Representatives, David Price and Erik Paulsen; former Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director Karen Glaser, and Guyanese Members of Parliament (MPs) exchanged experiences on stronger legislative practices. MPs representing Government and Opposition parties engaged in the forum.
In her opening remarks at the first session, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch said, “It is truly my sincere hope that everyone participating will come together to exchange ideas and possible solutions, not only with the former Congressmen and professional Chief of Staff, but also with the Government as a representative parliamentary institution that speaks for all Guyanese citizens.”
Ambassador Lynch encouraged MPs to actively engage in discussions because their contributions “give life to the democratic values that we all collectively cherish” and expressed US commitment to supporting Guyana’s democracy to become stronger, more inclusive, and more resilient.
Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister Gail Teixeira also delivered her remarks during the forum. Government and Opposition MPs acknowledged the high level of professionalism practiced by the parliamentary staff in delivering support and expressed optimism about finding ways to foster greater cross-party collaboration.
Resident Programme Director, Carin Mirowitz said, “IRI looks forward to continuing to support the work of leaders building Guyana’s democratic resilience.”
IRI’s legislative forum was among several activities being delivered with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to strengthen engagement among Guyanese leaders and citizens, especially marginalised groups like youth, women, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities.
IRI is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental international development organisation that has performed high-impact work in more than 100 countries since 1983. The Institute works with organisations and individuals across the globe to help citizens build democratic societies that are open and responsible, accountable, and resilient. IRI worked in Guyana from 2013-2015 and returned in 2019 to deliver pre- and post- electoral programming.
Since taking office in 2020, the Guyana Government continues to pursue an aggressive and transformative legislative agenda. But recently, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, has bemoaned the parliamentary Opposition’s role in slowing down that progress.
“Our legislative agenda is constantly being slowed down and stymied because of an incompetent and inefficient Opposition [the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change],” Nandlall had stated during his weekly programme. (G12)