Guyana’s Vice President (VP) Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, recently called out the political opposition for its failure to submit any feedback on new bills the government has introduced. Jagdeo said instead of sending in their recommendations, the opposition embarked on issuing press statements on those draft pieces of legislation.

On June 19, the Ministry of Natural Resources released the draft Petroleum Activities Bill. The ministry also announced a two-week period for the public to submit their feedback to the government.

Following the release of the Bill, the opposition issued a press statement with its initial comments.

At a recent press conference, the Vice President was asked if the Opposition has formally communicated to the government, its issues with the draft Bill.

“No, no, they would never do that, they would never submit technical comments on anything like a bill,” Jagdeo responded.

He continued that this is not the first time since the government has released a Bill for public feedback and the Opposition has not submitted any recommendations. “They didn’t do it for the privacy law, they didn’t do it for the new PSAs (Production Sharing Agreements), they didn’t do it for many other pieces of legislation and they wouldn’t do it for the Petroleum Activities Bill, but they will issue public comments which expose how short they are of any technical skills in the opposition,” the Vice President said.

Moreover, Jagdeo said he has read the opposition statement criticizing the Petroleum Activities Bill, adding that he believed it offered no substance. However, he noted that the opposition can still write to the government with its recommendations instead of making the draft Bill a political issue.

“Why cant (the opposition) write the government and say here, on this law we believe you should do the following five things. There is this section we believe you should amend it to include this. That’s all(the opposition) have to do and then we consider (their) comments like other people have done and then we say we are taking it into consideration or not, that’s all (they) have to do instead of making a political issue of this matter,” the Vice President underscored.


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