On Friday 24th February 2012, the elected Committee of Selection met for the purpose of electing members to various committees of the Parliament.
At that meeting, after intense arguments, we agreed that the numbers of the composition of the committees be changed from ten (10) to nine (9) members and this was carried by the majority of members of the Committee of Selection.
It must be noted that the Committee of Selection complied with every section of the Standing Orders of the Parliament which is in consonance with the Constitution of Guyana. The computation of the allocation of committee’s seats to Parliamentary Parties is reflected in Standing Order 94(1) which states:
“Every select committee shall be constituted as to ensure, as far as possible, that the balance of parties in the Assembly is reflected in the committee.”
Based on the computation the following is revealed:
Nine (9) members committee – 4 – PPP
4 – APNU
1 – AFC
Having agreed that the ten (10) members committee will be reduced to nine (9), we proceeded to name the representatives. A.P.N.U. and AFC nominated their members while the PPP/C refused to nominate their representatives.
Mr. Raphael Trotman, Speaker of the National Assembly proceeded on a historical review at this meeting, and then volunteered to suggest that this matter be discussed at the tripartite level.
It is important to note that, indeed, this matter was raised at the tripartite discussion and the Opposition is unmoved to change it proposal of nine (9) members committees.
Noteworthy is the fact that we believe in unity and consensus. In an effort to avoid gridlock and impasse, A.P.N.U. and the AFC are convinced that the nine (9) members committee is most likely to represent the public interest and to advance the work of the National Assembly.
The new date for the meeting of the Committee of Selection was scheduled for today, Friday 2nd March 2012. At approximately 11:00 hrs a call from the Parliament Office revealed that the meeting would be rescheduled for Monday 12th March 2012. No reason was given for this rescheduling. Today’s meeting was the date set for the nomination of the members of the committees.
A.P.N.U and the AFC, therefore, call on the PPP/C Administration to respect the results of the electorate and proceed with the business of governance. We condemn the fact that the Administration is attempting to manipulate the committees. Hence, we call on the Administration to illustrate magnanimity by co-operating with the reality.
We also call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, who happens to be the Chairman of the Committee of Selection, to execute his function “without fear or favour, affection or ill will.” We acknowledge all historical facts but the work of the Parliament must go on. The people of Guyana expect good governance.