Stabroek News Sunday

The Speaker has brought the National Assembly to its lowest of lows

- Dear Editor, Sincerely, Clayon F. Halley

The Speaker of the National Assembly needs to desist from shielding the incontrove­rtible untainted ineptitude and incessant equivocati­on by PPP Ministers when answering questions posed in parliament by opposition members. The Speaker, whether he likes it or not, must understand that the National Assembly is not his house. It’s the August House of the people of this nation, many of whom have an interest in knowing how our affairs are being handled. So when questions are asked of ministers, we the people of Guyana need the ministers to answer those questions directly, and he is there to make sure that those questions that are asked get responses that are relevant.

I was left in awe when the Minister of Agricultur­e was asked by Opposition Chief Whip, Mr. Christophe­r Jones, whether the over 1200 sugar works rehired by GUYSUCO, received the $250,000 cash grant as well, and the minister basically ignored the question and went on to share a political diatribe before taking his seat. Mr. Jones in trying to get clarity, sought to repeat his question and stood again to ask the question. The Speaker then posited that when a question is asked, you may not like the response, or it may not be what you want to hear, but whatever the answer given, that is the answer to your question.

Now, as a citizen I am very perturbed by this, because what the Speaker is saying is that a minister can stand and tell a ‘nancy’ story in response to a question, to cover up things, and we the citizens must accept that as the answer. What level of madness is that? Citizens need to get clarity on how their tax dollars are being expended, whether it is being misused, and whether the public coffers are being abused, that is our right. It is therefore offensive on the part of the Speaker of the National Assembly to deny the Guyanese people this right. This is just one example of how the Speaker has demonstrat­ed that he is partisan in the execution of his duties. As I have said on numerous social media posts, the Speaker has brought the National Assembly to its lowest of lows, however, I do take heart in knowing that the only place we can go from here is up.

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