No constructive engagement meeting since last year
Parties at odds over implementation
Stabroek News
March 14, 2004

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President Bharrat Jagdeo and Leader of the Opposition Robert Corbin have not met since last year under the constructive engagement process. And the PNCR is criticising the government for its failure to implement decisions agreed upon.

But Information Liaison to the President Robert Persaud disagrees with the opposition. He says he finds the party's statement very odd, since Jagdeo in a recent public addresses had stated his government's commitment to the constructive engagement process.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the PNCR said the two leaders have not met since September 15 last year.

The party said Corbin had made a report to the nation on the status of May 6 Commu-niqué in December last year. Since that report not much has happened to convince the PNCR that the government and President Jagdeo are serious about advancing the state of Guyana, the party said. The response of the government has been to launch several propaganda campaigns through the state media and the misuse of the executive licence of the Head of the Presidential Secretariat at his weekly post-cabinet briefings.

"The PNCR will not and cannot be shifted from its principled position by propaganda. If the government is serious they will take the necessary actions," the PNCR said.

The party said nothing short of full implementation of decisions made will suffice. It said the May 6 Com-muniqué and the follow-up agreement are public documents available to all Guya-nese and anyone interested in researching the facts can make an assessment of progress made to date.

Persaud has also accused the PNCR of being selective in its support to certain issues in the communiqué and of using delay tactics to stall the process.

According to Persaud, there has been significant progress in the implementations of some of the decisions enshrined in the communiqué. He said the monitoring groups which include the private sector bodies and other interest groups could attest to this.

And while the opposition has been complaining about the lack of progress under the engagement, he said, Corbin himself has failed to respond to several invitations by the President for them to consult. "We are very disappointed that they are not giving the constructive engagement the sort of support and attention it needs."