The Government of Guyana (GoG) cannot deny opposition nominees from sitting on State Boards, regardless of whether the opposition parties recognize the government as being illegitimate. This was according to the Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon today.
In a statement, Harmon is disputing comments made by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, who was quoted by the Stabroek News in its September 5 edition, saying that while the opposition does not recognise the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) as being a legitimate government, it still wants in on State boards.
“They say we are an illegitimate government. If we are an illegitimate government why would you want to sit on any board we are appointing? They have got themselves into what you call a problematic position. You can’t say you want to be on boards but you don’t recognize the government that is appointing those boards,” the minister was quoted by the publication as saying.
But, Harmon is contending that Teixeira is attempting a “vulgar and indecent whitewashing of the actions of her illegitimate and fraudulent PPP government”.
“I wish to advise Ms. Teixeira that there is a difference between the State and the Government. The State of Guyana is a legal entity that operates in perpetuity. Governments come and go. A government can be illegal and illegitimate as is the one she is a part of. Where State Boards are prescribed in a law, then it is of the State. It is the Parliament that passes laws not the Government. For the avoidance of doubt, Parliament comprises both Government and Opposition making it a State entity. Therefore, where the law requires Opposition representatives to sit on Boards, the Government is required to comply,” the former State Minister said.
He added that where the law does not specify Opposition participation, the Government is obliged to include the Opposition in the interest of transparency and accountability and because the law is a law of the State and not of the Government.
“Therefore, the position of Ms. Teixeira and PPP is ludicrous. Taken to its logical conclusion, it would mean that it, the illegitimate PPP, can ignore statutory demands of mutual agreement and proceed to unilaterally appoint a substantive Chancellor, Chief Justice and a new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission. It is an absurd argument that Ms. Teixeira proffers,” the politician said.