Spending a small portion of his allotted time dealing with issues within his portfolio, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hugh Todd, focused much of his budget presentation to point out the shortcomings of the former government with respect to the economy and the treatment of citizens.
The Foreign Minister read a number of testimonials he said were from citizens of his hometown of Linden. He said many citizens of the bauxite community are satisfied with the work of the current government.
He said the PPP is doing well in Government.
The Minister accused the APNU+AFC coalition of having a record of curtailing the rights and freedoms of Guyanese as well as leading a police state, something that the PPP administration has been accused of.
“Under the People’s Progressive Party Civic we have already worked tirelessly to ensure that we provide the peoples with their freedoms and the respect for their rights so that they can have the kinds of livelihood that will allow them to enjoy the partnership that we have,” Todd said.
According to the Foreign Minister, the incumbent administration will continue to respect Guyanese, irrespective of whichever political party they support.
Opposition Members of Parliament loudly heckled the Foreign Minister and reminded him that a number of persons, including Opposition figures, were hauled before the Courts by the current Government under the Cybercrime laws, while hundreds were dismissed from the public service when the government changed.
But Todd stood his ground and said there is now progress taking place in the country.
“We believe that we have a role to play in continually and progressively improving the lives of the people of this country. It therefore means that our understanding of trust, our understanding of confidence building, those are the principles that are embedded in the People’s Progressive Party administration,” Mr. Todd noted.
As it relates to the Foreign Affairs sector, Mr. Todd said Guyana now has a positive image in the international arena and the Government will continue to make representation on behalf of the Guyanese people.
He did not outline any new foreign policy position of the government and shied away from addressing some of the Diplomatic mishaps that occurred under his watch.