Jagdeo/Corbin talks
Stakeholder group laments slow progress in implementing decisions
Stabroek News
December 22, 2003

Related Links: Articles on 'Constructive Engagement'
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Progress in implementing some of the decisions taken by President Bharrat Jagdeo and PNCR leader Robert Corbin has been slow and difficult and substantial slippage had occurred with regard to agreed timelines, the Stake-holder Group said on Saturday.

In a press release the observer group said it would be requesting revised timelines for those areas where there had been slippage.

The release was issued following a meeting on Friday at the offices of the United Nations Development Pro-gramme. The group reviewed the progress in the implementation of the decisions of the constructive engagement between Jagdeo and Corbin since the group's last meeting on October 1.

The group welcomed the statement by both leaders on December 15 on the selection of the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the nominee to sit on the Judicial Service Commission.

The release also noted that there had been progress in areas such as the enhancement of the physical facilities within the National Assembly, the presentation of an interim report by the Disciplined Forces Commission, the appointment of an Interim Management Committee for the Linden Town Council and the tabling of the electricity sector agreements in the National Assembly.

However, according to the release, the group regrets "that in other areas such as the [draft] Broadcasting Bill, Equitable Access to the State Media and the Depressed Communities, progress has been slow and difficult, and substantial slippage has occurred with regard to agreed timelines. The Stakeholder Group will request revised timelines from the High Representatives."

The group also expressed concern that the discussion on technical constraints and solutions had given way to political rhetoric and reiterated its readiness to provide every possible support needed to advance the process of constructive engagement. "Com-ments have been repeatedly made by both sides discrediting each other, thereby undermining public confidence in the process and in the commitment of the parties to pursue meaningful change. The release called on the President and Corbin "to quickly and unambiguously reaffirm their willingness to subordinate constituent interests to national interests."

Another area of concern is the absence of meaningful delegation of power with the result that the implementation of decisions foundered in the absence of meetings between the President and Corbin.

In this regard the release said, "... reciprocal allegations point to procedural weaknesses in regard to the timely production of agreed records of negotiations such as those of the Appointive Committee."

The release said that the group was awaiting a "further joint briefing by the High Representatives and indications of possible constraints to the negotiations and implementation of agreements" and it reiterated its offer to provide every possible support needed to advance the process.

The Stakeholder Group is one of the mechanisms President Jagdeo and Corbin agreed to establish to monitor the implementation of the decisions they take in the constructive engagement process. The group comprises representatives of political parties, civil society and the diplomatic community and other national and international agencies, including the Commonwealth Secretariat.