January 25 ,2021
…Harmon says of him being on parliamentary committees
Though the joinder parties have recently complained about a lack of inclusivity after its representative, Lenox Shuman was not selected to sit on any of the major Select and Sectoral Committees, Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon said on Monday that the complaint is a ploy to add yet another PPP/C representative to the mix.
Over the weekend, the joinder parties – Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and The New Movement (TNM) – complained that the two main political parties reneged on their promise of inclusivity as neither selected Shuman to sit on the aforementioned Committees.
There are eight parliamentary committees – Parliamentary Standing Committee for Constitutional Reform, Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Foreign Relations, Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services, Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economic Services, Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Security Sector, Public Accounts Committee, Committee of Appointments, Committee of Selection and the Parliamentary Management Committee – however, Shuman sits on none.
“Although the two parties represent 90% of the electorate, unfortunately, the real effect is not that the will of 90% of the electorate will be carried out, but rather, the interest of the two parties who have been notorious for using the State and legislative arms of government to advance their own agenda,” the joinder parties said.
However, Harmon said that the joinder parties come with their own agenda. He highlighted that the process of selecting the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, and members and chairpersons of various committees has long been completed and it is strange that only now has the joiner party raised its voice to complain about being excluded.
While they cry out for a lack of inclusion, Harmon said that there is a bigger motive at play. “It is quite strange that at this time when all these things have started to work that this noise is being made. But I am seeing a hidden voice behind that noise and the hidden voice behind that noise that is seeking to seat an extra place for the PPP in these Committees and they want to do that at our expense, at the expense of the Opposition in Parliament. I don’t see how that is going to happen,” he said.
The PPP/C had ignored convention and used its majority in the House to elect Shuman as Deputy Speaker instead of the main opposition’s candidate. However, the PPP/C has also not elected Shuman to sit on any of the Committees.