AFC ‘des­per­ate to re­tain rel­e­vance’ – PPP

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -

ments ex­pose its “du­plic­i­tous” na­ture, and its pro­cliv­ity to speak on is­sues with a “forked tongue”.

“The AFC’s sud­den at­tempt to com­mu­ni­cate con­cern for the wel­fare of Guyanese peo­ple af­ter over two years of hard­ship mea­sures be­ing im­posed on Guyanese, and its vo­cal ac­qui­es­cence (re­call that it was Nag­amootoo who car­ried the mes­sage of clo­sure of su­gar es­tates to Rose Hall) as a part­ner in the coali­tion govern­ment must be called out for what it is – a failed at­tempt to rebrand its im­age”, the PPP has said.

The PPP also pointed out that Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Noel Holder is an AFC mem­ber who has agreed with the clo­sure of es­tates, but he is now call­ing for ac­tion to ad­dress the wel­fare of su­gar work­ers.

The PPP pointed out that al­most 2,000 work­ers have been dis­placed by the clo­sure of the Wales Su­gar Es­tate, and thou­sands more have been in­di­rectly af­fected by that es­tate’s clo­sure. “Where was the AFC’s voice when the Wales es­tate was closed? Where was the AFC’s voice when the re­port from the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (CoI), es­tab­lished by the Govern­ment it is a part of, was trashed? The AFC can­not ex­pect Guyanese to ac­cept that it sud­denly re­alised that thou­sands of av­er­age Guyanese are on the bread­line,” the state­ment from the PPP added.

While the AFC has also en­dorsed the vi­sion of a new bridge across the De­mer­ara river and the paving of the Lin­den-to-Lethem road, and has said it ap­proves of the de­sign of the new De­mer­ara river bridge as pre­sented by the Pub­lic In­fra­struc­ture Min­istry; in so do­ing, it is in­di­cat­ing sup­port for cor­rup­tion; ten­der process tam­per­ing; and fla­grant breaches of the law, given the cur­rent devel­op­ments un­der the APNU+ AFC Ad­min­is­tra­tion with the project, the PPP has charged.

“There have been sev­eral me­dia re­ports that raise ques­tions about the project in its cur­rent con­struct, and its ex­e­cu­tion. Note­wor­thy is that the Pub­lic In­fra­struc­ture Min­istry is also headed by an AFC Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber,” the PPP again pointed out in ref­er­ence to Min­is­ter David Pat­ter­son.

Fur­ther, the main op­po­si­tion party noted that while the AFC’s NEC has also wel­comed “mea­sures to avoid new taxes,” it not only fails to say what these mea­sures are, but also fails to in­sist on no in­creases of the ex­ist­ing im­po­si­tion of tax­a­tion mea­sures and fees – al­most 200 in the last two years.

But, im­por­tantly also, the PPP has raised con­cern over the AFC’s si­lence while the In­tegrity Com­mis­sion’s Sec­re­tariat was dis­man­tled, and its vote against the PPP mo­tion on pub­lic dis­clo­sures of dec­la­ra­tions to the Com­mis­sion are in stark con­trast with its cur­rent call for the Com­mis­sion to be es­tab­lished, the PPP has high­lighted.

The AFC on Mon­day said it re­mains fully com­mit­ted to ex­e­cut­ing its role in ad­vanc­ing Con­sti­tu­tional Re­form, and has called on the Govern­ment to es­tab­lish the In­tegrity Com­mis­sion as a mat­ter of ur­gent na­tional pri­or­ity.

But the PPP has noted that Prime Min­is­ter and AFC Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber Moses Nag­amootoo has been di­vert­ing at­ten­tion from the emas­cu­la­tion of the In­tegrity Com­mis­sion by tout­ing a Code of Con­duct.

Ac­cord­ing to the PPP, this makes the Pres­i­dent the en­forcer of sanc­tions when he him­self is sub­ject to re­view by the In­tegrity Com­mis­sion. The Code it­self, it said, would un­der­mine the Com­mis­sion.

And on the is­sue of Con­sti­tu­tional Re­form, the PPP has said its po­si­tion is that it re­mains open to Con­sti­tu­tional Re­form; the ma­jor is­sue cur­rently is the need for Con­sti­tu­tional Com­pli­ance. How­ever, the PPP has noted that while the AFC calls for Con­sti­tu­tional Re­form, it has also sup­ported the uni­lat­eral and un­con­sti­tu­tional ap­point­ment of a GECOM Chair­man. “No amount of di­ver­sion on this is­sue will be suc­cess­ful. The fact re­mains that con­sti­tu­tional com­pli­ance is what is needed in the im­me­di­ate term,” the PPP has as­serted. (Guyana Times)

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