On the heels of an announcement by President Irfaan Ali that he plans to meet with Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton within weeks to discuss the reconstitution of several Commissions as well as the appointment of a substantive Police Commissioner, the Opposition Leader while welcoming the proposed meeting, today said the meeting should go beyond that and discuss other critical issues that remain unresolved.
During a press conference, the Opposition Leader said he is willing to fulfill his Constitutional responsibilities where he is mandated to meet with the President, but it is also important that other issues are raised.
“The meeting with the President should they occur, must extend beyond the appointment of commissions and judges. Meetings must also discuss Opposition’s concerns about good governance and the abuse of political power by the People’s Progressive Party, including discrimination against Opposition Local Government, areas, the uneven and non-distribution of flood and other relief, the unsatisfactory oversight of the National patrimony in the Natural Resource Fund,” the Opposition Leader said.
Norton said he is obligated to represent all Guyanese and the concerns of the masses go beyond appointments of the Commissions, noting that the appointment of top Judicial Officers is paramount.
“Further delays and excuses by the government in making judicial and other appointments can also be described for what they are, acts of bad faith and political machination,” Norton noted.
The President has not dispatched any formal invitation to the Opposition Leader for the two to meet, but he has told other media houses that the invitation could be extended within the next two weeks.
President Ali had refused to initiate any meeting with the former Opposition Leader Joe Harmon, demanding that Harmon first publicly recognise him as the legitimate President.
He has not made the same request of the new Opposition Leader.
According to Mr. Norton, “it is my sincere hope that good sense will prevail and he attempts to deal with the issues in society in a holistic way rather than in a piecemeal fashion”.
August will mark two years of the Irfaan Ali Government and there has been no official meeting with him and the Opposition Leader.