Corruption in public office and constitutional reform are among the key issues that Leader of The New Movement (TNM), Dr Asha Kissoon intends to champion as she prepares to take up a seat in the National Assembly.
Dr. Kissoon will be replacing Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party Lenox Shuman on the Joinder list. And she could find herself serving just three months in the Assembly.
Shuman’s resignation from the National Assembly under the agreement with the other two parties on the joinder list, took effect today.
Speaking at a joint press conference called by A New and United Guyana and The New Movement, Dr Kissoon, who was the youngest Presidential Candidate at the 2020 elections, said she is ready to take on a number of issues head-on.
“One of my main objectives during my time in Parliament is transparency. I think it is something that is really lacking right now where contracts are being offered, allegedly nepotism is happening, where government officials are being named in scandals, where the oil money is allegedly not being used how it is supposed to be used,” Dr Kissoon said.
Dr. Kissoon vowed to bring the issues of corruption to light.
The incoming Parliamentarian said she will also push for constitutional reform to allow for independent parties such as TNM to be represented on constitutional organizations such as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Dr Kissoon said the issue of funding for independent parties ought to be addressed as well.
Describing Guyana’s political landscape as “polarized,” the TNM Leader said her party will act as an independent force in the National Assembly, and will not be consumed by either the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) or the main Opposition – the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).
“I am here with the objective of letting the Guyanese people know that there is a third force. That this third force is representing persons who do not believe in the two-party system. Traditionally, the AFC started with this and then they ended up joining APNU+AFC but we are not joining anybody, we are an independent opposition. We are ANUG, TNM. We are not joining anybody; however, we are willing to work with Government or Opposition for the betterment of the Guyanese people,” the incoming Parliamentarian explained.
As the lone LJP Representative in the National Assembly, Mr Shuman received the support of the Government to be elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly over a candidate from the APNU+AFC which has the largest number of seats on the opposition side.
Kissoon said she is prepared to take up the same position if she is nominated and elected.
Based on the original agreement signed among the joiner parties, TNM is entitled to three months in Parliament. However, ANUG has signaled its willingness to allow the party to spend much longer in the Assembly. The parties had also granted a brief extension to LJP.
“I was supposed to go third in Parliament for a specific set of months but due to an agreement with ANUG, the conversations had was in case a snap election was held that we would not have enough time to represent our following because we had the less time in Parliament. Initially, we had conversations with Mr Shuman and ANUG about sharing the seats two years, one year, two years but unfortunate the LJP were not willing to give up any of their time but the irony is that we ended up giving them some of our time,” Dr Kissoon explained.
Chairman of ANUG, Mark France said the party will gauge Dr Kissoon’s performance in the National Assembly before making a decision on the time allotted to the TNM.
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