Opposition informs UN of “misinformation and untruths” provided to Human Rights Committee by Govt. -says Norton

Opposition informs UN of “misinformation and untruths” provided to Human Rights Committee by Govt.  -says Norton

Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton has announced that the Opposition has informed the United Nations (UN) about the “misinformation and untruths” that were told to the UN Human Rights Committee by the Guyana Government, as the country underwent its periodic review on human rights this week.

At a press conference on Thursday, Mr. Norton said even as the Minister of Governance, Gail Teixeira was appearing before the Human Rights Committee this week, the Opposition was in contact with the UN Office here. 

“We have been in communication with the UN here, and even when they started, and they [Government] started to misinform the UN, we dispatched information to the UN Representative here, asking for onward transmission of course, indicating that a lot of what she was saying, this was Minister Gail Teixeira, was kind of distant from the truth,” Norton told reporters. 

The Opposition Leader said Minister Teixeira, in her appearance, misinformed the Human Rights Committee on a number of issues, particularly as it relates to the establishment of Constitutional bodies and the appointment of a substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice. 

“It must be recalled that the Opposition not only agreed to their appointment, but also wrote President Irfaan Ali requesting that we meet to consider these appointments. The President arrogantly responded that it is he who will determine when these processes will occur and to this date he has not seen it fit to initiate the process. It is therefore disingenuous and wicked on the part of Gail Teixeira to suggest that the Opposition is responsible in any fashion for the non-appointment of these two distinguished ladies and the identification of Opposition representatives on Commissions and State Boards. The PPP has refused to make these appointments, and in the case of the appointment of the Opposition representative on the Investment Committee of the Natural Resource Fund, even though the Opposition submitted a nominee, the PPP until today has not appointed that nominee to the Board,” Norton stated. 

 He said the Opposition has also submitted its nominations for the Constitutional Reform Commission.

According to the Opposition Leader, the UN Human Rights Committee hearings have exposed the prevalence of human rights abuses and bad governance in Guyana under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration. 

“Despite Minister Gail Teixeira’s efforts at spin doctoring, evading, and fabricating, the government could not hide its bad attitude and poor record on the rule of law, transparency, inclusivity, accountability, and human rights. In addition, the government was exposed for its high levels of corruption and its unwillingness to investigate allegations of corruption and bribery against its high officials,” Norton said. 

The UN committee, he said must be commended for interrogating several major acts of “PPP bad governance and corruption”, citing the corruption allegations that were made against Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, the discrimination in the allocation of State resources, the politicization of State institutions such as the Police Force, the non-appointment of Opposition representatives to State Boards, and the failure to revise the Amerindian Act. 

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