Executive Director of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton is of the opinion that former Head of State, David Granger should not meet with his predecessors and current President Irfaan Ali next Tuesday.

It was Ali’s idea to have all the former presidents meet to create an “opportunity to continue to share ideas, generate ideas to talk about how we see Guyana’s development from our different perspectives.”

Norton, during a live Facebook programme “In the Ring” hosted by Member of Parliament (MP), Sherod Duncan, said: “Irfaan Ali’s status of President is questionable; we see him as an illegal president – illegitimate, who’s awaiting the outcome of an elections petition. And I don’t think David Granger should legitimize him by meeting with him.”

The Political Scientist said that Ali should be meeting with the Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon and not Granger. While contending Ali is an “illegitimate” President, he abandoned this characterisation when he alluded to the Constitutional requirements for dialogue between the President and Opposition Leader.

“The Opposition Leader is the person the constitution dictates that the president speaks with. The President, illegal as he is, refuses to speak with the Opposition,” he said.

Norton added that Ali bypassing Harmon, is an attempt to create division in the APNU+AFC camp.

“What they did was try and create a mechanism by which, they could create an alternative pole to the Opposition Leader, and therefore so further divisions in the APNU+AFC. Let us not forget that they began creating this division when [former President, now Vice President, Bharrat] Jagdeo suggested that there is no honest interlocutor for him to relate to,” he noted.

He pointed out that three of the four former presidents still alive, Samuel Hinds, Bharrat Jagdeo, and Donald Ramotar are from the ruling party’s camp, and the Chair of that meeting will be Ali.

Further, Norton said that APNU+AFC supporters will never agree to Granger participating in that meeting.
“They are basically trying to pull a political stunt, and therefore, I don’t think David Granger will meet with them. I hope he doesn’t. I would shudder to think that any APNU+AFC supporter would want David Granger to meet with Jagdeo, who was disrespectful; Ali, who is illegitimate; Ramotar, who was useless; and Sam Hinds, who many people thought was a robot. It doesn’t make good sense to me,” he said.


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