National Assembly may approve management committee this week
Sides close on mechanism for police inquiry

Stabroek News
April 29, 2003

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The National Assembly is expected to be convened early this week if the progress being made in the talks between the government and opposition parties continues.

Stabroek News understands that the two sides are near agreement on the terms of reference of a parliamentary inquiry into the operations of the Police Force.

But a potential stumbling block is the composition of the parliamentary sector committees and observers feel that a final decision may have to be made when President Bharrat Jagdeo and PNCR leader Robert Corbin meet. The progress made in resolving the remaining issues is a factor in determining when the two leaders meet.

When the National Assem-bly is convened it will be asked to approve the composition of the Parliamentary Management Committee. The establishment of this committee is one of the recommendations of the St Lucia State-ment and the basis on which the PNCR took up its seats in parliament after the Decem-ber 15, 1997 elections. The statement was signed in Castries, St Lucia in July 1998 at the CARICOM Heads of Government Summit.

It is understood that the parties have reached agreement that the joint committee on local government reform should continue its work. The committee was established during the Jagdeo/Hoyte dialogue but it was unable to complete its work within the timeframe it was given.

The committee was co-chaired by Local Government Minister, Clinton Collymore and PNCR vice-chairman, Vincent Alexander.

The talks have already produced agreement on the composition of the Parliamentary Management Committee and the re-submission of the White Paper on Land Distri-bution that was tabled during the last session.

It was agreed that the Paper did not address the issues contained in the recommendations of the Par-liamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reform.

Meanwhile Stabroek News understands too that there is no major difference between the two sides on the mechanism that would monitor the implementation of the other agreed parliamentary reforms and the measures that would have to be put in place to make them effective.

This newspaper understands that the donor agencies have indicated an interest in supporting such a mechanism.

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