While the government continues to advocate for a “One Guyana”, several State Boards are without opposition representatives, the main Parliamentary Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) has said.

Mervyn Williams, a long-serving APNU member and former parliamentarian, said this morning that the nonappointment of opposition representatives forms part of the “ample evidence” of exclusionary politics being practised by the government.

He said that despite several boards recently going active, the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton has received no request from the government for an opposition representative. This “breach”, he said, even extends to boards which require an opposition presence. This non-appointment, Williams argued, goes against the grain of inclusionary politics.

“Were the PPP government genuine about inclusion, one would have expected that it would have followed the practice of inviting the Opposition to be represented on a wide range of state boards, authorities, and commissions – whether or not the relevant statutes so dictated. It has completely ignored to do so. Instead, it has sneakily appointed and reappointed boards in several sectors,” Williams noted.

He added that the presence of opposition representatives on State Boards is crucial in ensuring transparency and accountability, whereas, the absence could lead to corruption at State agencies.

“Clearly, the government does not like scrutiny and has a likeness for corruption. The non-appointment of opposition members to state boards is one sure way of ensuring that government corruption can continue to flourish without scrutiny,” he added.

Back in 2020, the government said that opposition members were being deliberately excluded from sitting on State boards because the APNU+AFC refuses to acknowledge the regime as legitimate.

“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 of Parliamentary Affairs and Government, Gail Teixeira was quoted as saying in the Stabroek News on September 5, 2020.



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