Opposition wants Clause on Non-Partisan Commission on the Border Controversy to remain in Parliamentary Motion

Opposition wants Clause on Non-Partisan Commission on the Border Controversy to remain in Parliamentary Motion

By Svetlana Marshall

The Extraordinary Sitting of the National Assembly to discuss the Guyana/Venezuela Border Controversy could possibly be further delayed, if the Government and the Opposition fail to arrive at a consensus on the Motion to be debated.

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, on Wednesday, announced that the Friday November 3 Sitting of the National Assembly has been postponed to Monday, November 6, but the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton today said the Sitting could be further delayed if there is no consensus on the Motion.

 He said while the Opposition played a critical role in drafting the Motion, the Government removed a critical Clause, which addresses the need for a Non-partisan Commission to be established to address the controversy on a united front.

  “We don’t intend to proceed with the Motion in which there isn’t a proper role for a non-partisan approach to it, and what the removal of that, seems to put everything, just in the hands of the government with no scope for opposition and other participation,” Norton said.

He added: “We want to see in this motion clear resolution clause that speaks to one, a non-partisan approach to the Guyana/Venezuela territorial controversy, an institution to implement so that in the final analysis we have the parliament agreeing to the institution that will promote this unity and involvement that we talk about.”

Norton said while the motion for a large part is “okay,” he is hopeful that the Government and Opposition could resolve the issues surrounding Clause 4.

Additionally, he said there is a need for accurate data to be provided on the presence of Venezuela migrants in Guyana.

According to Norton, the statistic provided by the Government thus far is highly flawed.

 “The motion is not the only issue here, the data on Venezuelans, that data, very, very important. And those two we will have to resolve. There is little or no sense debating and talking about Venezuelans in Guyana and you got something that tells you 22,000 Venezuelans are here, none in Region 5, none in Region 6 when we know the facts are different, and so these issues need to be resolved and then we can move forward,” Norton said.

He made it clear that the Opposition and the Government remain united on the issues surrounding the border controversy.

Together, they have rejected a planned referendum by Venezuela, which, in part, is intended to annex parts of Guyana’s territory in contravention with international law.

Guyana maintains that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which set out the boundary between Venezuela and then British Guiana, now Guyana, is final and valid. 

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