by Stacy Carmichael-James
Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland in his assessment of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Post Elections seminar said the sessions were carefully planned to “enable members to improve their performance in the discharge of their democratic duties.”
The two day seminar opened this morning (March 31) at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown under the theme “Negotiations and Nation Building.”
Dr. Scotland believes the training that the parliamentary officials will receive would “in turn aid in the realization of the core functions of the National Assembly of the Parliament of Guyana.” These functions he noted are legislative, financial, critical and appointive.
The sessions will also address the conduct of members of parliament beyond the sittings of the House and Parliamentary committees, something he believes is “food for thought.”
Meantime, Akbar Khan, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in his remarks highlighted that parliaments should be accessible to the people and media, equipped to respond to national and international challenges.
It should also be responsive to an increasingly active population, which has become more engaging and demanding. These matters, Khan said should be tackled in a “rigorous, vigorous and transparent” manner.
Delivering the opening remarks, Prime Minister and First Vice President, Moses Nagamootoo pointed out the need for national unity in Guyana, noting that “electoral politics has highlighted and dramatized the fragility of our parliamentary system.”
In tandem with the seminar’s theme, the Prime Minister posited that negotiation gives both sides a sense of belonging and security where each emerges as winner.