PPP/C ‘open’ to lo­cally-driven con­sti­tu­tion re­form - Jagdeo

Stabroek News Sunday - - WORLD NEWS -

The op­po­si­tion Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is “open” to con­sti­tu­tional re­form once it is lo­cally-driven and trans­par­ent, op­po­si­tion leader Bhar­rat Jagdeo clar­i­fied yes­ter­day.

“The process of con­sti­tu­tional re­form was al­ways seen as one that would be con­tin­u­ous, an in­ten­tion that was en­shrined in Ar­ti­cle 119 (A) of the Con­sti­tu­tion. The PPP/C, there­fore, re­mains open to the process of con­sti­tu­tional re­form – a process that is lo­cally driven and one that will see the in­volve­ment of the widest pos­si­ble cross­sec­tion of stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion from in­ter­na­tional bod­ies,” Jagdeo said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

“We have to en­sure that the process by which we ar­rive at any pro­posed changes, if any, to the Con­sti­tu­tion must be trans­par­ent and must find ac­cep­tance among all stake­hold­ers,” he added.

Jagdeo re­leased the state­ment in re­sponse to queries on the PPP/C’s po­si­tion on con­sti­tu­tional re­form and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of in­ter­na­tional bod­ies. The queries fol­lowed a pre­sen­ta­tion at the ninth Turkeyen and Tain Talks on Thurs­day by PPP/C par­lia­men­tar­ian Anil Nand­lall. In his pre­sen­ta­tion, which Nand­lall main­tained were his per­sonal views rather than those of the party, he ques­tioned whether the na­ture and rea­son of con­sti­tu­tional re­form is be­ing driven by the Guyanese peo­ple them­selves or by for­eign in­flu­ences. He also main­tained that more than con­sti­tu­tional re­form, Guyana is presently in need of con­sti­tu­tional com­pli­ance.

In his state­ment yes­ter­day, Jagdeo made sim­i­lar ar­gu­ments on be­half of the party.

He noted that while his party is pre­pared to work with civil so­ci­ety, in­ter­na­tional part­ners and oth­ers through a trans­par­ent, na­tion­ally-led process that in­volves all sec­tions of Guyanese so­ci­ety, in de­ter­min­ing whether changes should be made to our Con­sti­tu­tion, it is very con­cerned about the si­lence sur­round­ing “sev­eral egre­gious” breaches of the con­sti­tu­tion by the coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

“These breaches are not lim­ited to mat­ters af­fect­ing the Guyana Elec­tions Com­mis­sion, the ju­di­ciary and the func­tion­ing of the statu­tory bod­ies. The PPP/C ex­pects those ad­vo­cat­ing for con­sti­tu­tional changes to be just as stri­dent in their crit­i­cism and con­dem­na­tion of these breaches,” he added.

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