The APNU+AFC opposition said that it will continue to resist attempts by the PPP/C government to dictate who chairs the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). This is the position proffered by the opposition as its representatives in the PAC spoke to Guyana Standard about a Motion tabled in the name of Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Gail Teixeira.

Teixeira and her colleagues representing the government are adamant that given the allegations made against former Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, he should not be allowed to chair a committee responsible for examining the government’s spending.

When he spoke to Guyana Standard, committee member, Sanjeev Datadin said that the government understands the importance of the committee and therefore knows that it must have the luxury of public trust. Datadin said that he, like Teixeira, does not think the public would trust the work of a committee chaired by someone embroiled in a public financial scandal.

But the opposition thinks that that is beside the point. The united decision of the opposition members of the PAC is that the decision as to who chairs the committee is up to them and them alone, “that is the rule.” Further, members noted that President Irfaan Ali was allowed to chair the committee even though he was faced with several charges when the PPP was in opposition.

The motion is now in limbo. This is because while the government has the majority with five members on the committee against APNU+AFC’s four, it needs an opposition member to put the question as to the passage of the motion before the committee can actually vote. This is the case as indeed only an opposition member can chair the committee but even as Patterson has removed himself, no other opposition member is willing to fill that seat. They maintain, “We have full confidence in Patterson.”


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