PPP talking not acting on dialogue
February 22, 2004
The PNCR will make a statement soon on what it sees as being the status of the constructive engagement process.
Its leader Robert Corbin told Stabroek News that consistent with its general council's decision earlier this month, the party was monitoring the implementation of the decisions already taken, as the government seemed to have substituted propaganda for action.
Corbin has described the process as being precarious. But it is not a view to which the government subscribes and it points to a number of developments made possible by the decisions of the constructive engagement process.
Like the Jagdeo/Hoyte dialogue process, the present talks are foundering on the implementation of decisions, which the PNCR says has not been done; the government claims the contrary.
Since their last meeting in mid-September there has been no meeting between Corbin and President Bharrat Jagdeo in the constructive engagement process.
A meeting should have been held at the end of September to discuss the politicisation of the public service, legislation to deal with crossing the floor and the PPP/C's position paper on "Inclusive Governance."
Corbin has met President Jagdeo for the constitutionally mandated consultations on the appointments to the police, teaching and judicial service commissions and on the appointment of Commiss-ioner of Police Winston Felix.
The PNCR has been expressing concerns about the implementation of the decisions taken by Corbin and Jagdeo, and the fact that a number of them remain unimplemented months after the meeting at which they were decided.
For example, the Ethnic Relations Tribunal Commis-sion is still to be appointed and the Public Procurement Commission is still to be named - the criteria for naming the persons to be appointed is bogged down in the Public Accounts Committee.
Some progress has been made in the work to be done to increase the capacity of Parliament Office to support the National Assembly and its committees, but the bulk of the work has been stalled pending the release of funds after the national budget has been approved.
There is concern too about the approach to the implementation of the emergency projects for the depressed communities.
Another bugbear to the process being continued is the government's reaction to the PNCR's call for the resignation of Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj and an independent and transparent investigation into the allegations accusing Gajraj of involvement in the formation of a death squad.
However, the government's position is that until a formal statement has been made to the police no action can be taken to mount an investigation.
Jagdeo, too, has said that there is no shred of credible evidence in the media against Gajraj.