Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has dubbed the Aubrey-Norton-led opposition as “very lazy” given its failure to provide any submissions on the 2023 Data Protection Bill.
The bill was published on April 15, 2023, and all stakeholders were invited to make submissions within 21 days, with the deadline being May 6, 2023. However, the deadline passed and no submissions were received from the opposition.
During his press conference today, Jagdeo said, “We should have received all the comments from the public now. I don’t know if APNU has but I doubt it, whether APNU has submitted, but I can almost with a 99.9% certainty, put my neck on the block that they have not submitted.”
He further noted that even though a submission may have not been made, the opposition will try to make an issue of it when the bill goes to Parliament.
“That is how they operate,” he said, while also noting that, “They don’t want to go through the bill and make like technical comments, they just want to make political comments all the time…”
Jagdeo was not the only one to scold the opposition for not making submissions to important legislative agendas. Last month, the Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, during his live “Issues in the News” programme noted that the government has been pursuing legislative changes to support its economic and infrastructural plans. He however raised concerns over the alleged pussyfooting by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) legislators.
“Our country’s development agenda requires the requisite legislative support to cradle, support, and propel these economic ventures and other infrastructural and social sector ventures upon which we are embarking. However, many of these ventures cannot be accomplished unless we have a robust legal and regulatory framework to govern the implementation and operationalization of these projects. But our legislative agenda is constantly being slowed down and stymied because of an incompetent and inefficient opposition,” Nandlall emphasised.
The AG said that the opposition’s bogging down on the much-needed legislation is the latest example of its alleged pussyfooting against the bill which is geared at buttressing the government’s Electronic Identification Card (e-ID) initiative.