PNCR will persist with shared governance proposal - Riehl
Stabroek News
February 14, 2003

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The PNCR is to continue the debate on the issue of shared governance as a way forward in Guyana despite what it says is the ruling party's rejection of the proposal.

In presenting the PPP's view on the issue last Saturday, President Bharrat Jagdeo said that no contrived system of government such as "executive power sharing" would succeed where there was an absence of trust and good faith between the parties.

He contended that executive power sharing was associated with negative consequences such as the institutionalisation of ethnic rivalry and the absence of political opposition. He added, however, that further arrangements for "inclusive governance" could result from a climate of trust after consultation with the PPP/C's constituency and the electorate.

Executive member of the PNCR, Clarissa Riehl said yesterday at the party's weekly press conference that, "the PNCR has taken note in passing that the PPP/C has at last responded to the debate on inclusivity in a paper..."

Riehl told the media that the PNCR welcomed the contribution which was long overdue on the matter. "We have studied the PPP/C paper closely and meticulously. It consists for the most part of a narrative which interprets the political history of Guyana in ways favourable to the government."

She said the PNCR disagreed profoundly with much of the analysis and interpretation enclosed in the document, but did not believe that any useful purpose would be served at this time from descending to a rebuttal of the claims and misinterpretations.

Riehl stated that despite the government's position on the issue, "the policy of our party at this time is that we are concerned about the future and a vision for our country and we do not have the time or the inclination to engage in futile debate about the history of Guyana."

She added that the PNCR was concerned about bread, justice, peace and security. Commenting on the point of trust and confidence raised by the President in his presentation, the PNCR said those were welcome words and the party was looking forward keenly for evidence and initiatives in that direction.

PNCR executive member, Raphael Trotman, while applauding the president's call for trust and confidence, said that it was the lack of it on the part of government that influenced the PNCR to adopt its non-co-operation approach. Trotman pointed out that in the president's presentation he had made mention of the outstanding constitutional amendments, which have not been implemented and the failed dialogue between himself and late PNCR Leader Desmond Hoyte as reasons for the non-appointment of the Rights Commission, the Parliamentary Management committee, the Service Commissions and the Standing Committees. Trotman said had it not been for the ruling party's hardline policy and its failure to shift from its present position those committees would have been functioning at this time. He hoped that the hierarchy of the PPP/C would heed the President's words of trust and confidence and put away narrow partisan interest and work collaboratively with all groups for the betterment of Guyana.

In December last year, the PNCR had circulated a proposal to the social partners grouping on shared governance. It entailed power sharing at the executive level with the Prime Minister as the head of government sitting in Parliament. The Prime Minister would come from the party with the highest votes at elections and ministerial portfolios would be allocated proportionally to those parties with at least five percent of the vote.

The proposal also envisaged a non-executive President as head of state appointed via a multi-party vote. The term of the President would be seven years to straddle the traditional five-year electoral terms. The proposal also covered a number of other areas.(

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