Vice President (VP), Bharrat Jagdeo says that President Irfaan Ali will only have engagements with the Leader of the Opposition (LOO), Joseph Harmon when the Constitution requires, effectively shutting out Harmon’s call for dialogue.
Jagdeo’s assurance came on the heels of the LOO cautioning against the possibility of Statutory breaches if Ali refuses to meet on certain matters as is required by the Constitution, and by adding preconditions for such meetings.
It can be noted that there is a variation in Jagdeo and Harmon’s treatment of “dialogue” and “consultation”, with the latter seemingly viewing dialogue as a precursor to consultation, while the former regards dialogue as anything outside matters of constitutional requirements.
This is evident in Jagdeo reiterating that there will be no dialogue with LOO but committing, on behalf of the President, his commitment to consult Harmon on the establishment of statutory agencies and appointment of Constitutional office holders as is prescribed by law.
“[T]he President will discharge his responsibilities when the constitution requires consultations,” he said.
The A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) has been resolute in its view that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government is an illegitimate one. Two election petitions have since been filed in the courts challenging the declaration of the March 2 General and Regional Elections
Harmon said that Ali asking for the Opposition to recognise the PPP/C as a legitimate administration is in effect, asking for the withdrawal of litigation. The Opposition has no intention of doing that, he said last week. In fact, letters have already been dispatched to the Chief Justice (CJ) requesting a speedy hearing.