PPP/C calls for Rights Commissions – President says this Achievable before Year End
The establishment of the four Rights Commissions is achievable with the full cooperation of the Opposition by the end of this year. The commissions are: the Women and Gender Equality Commission, Indigenous Peoples’ Commission, Rights of the Child Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the Ethnic Relations Commission.
This is according to President David Granger who stated during the recording of his weekly programme ‘The Public Interest’, that this is achievable with the full cooperation of the Opposition. He noted that “each Minister is aware of the person in the Opposition with whom he or she has to deal on matters of State policy.”
The Parliamentary Opposition, Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) recently expressed concerns with the expired Rights Commissions.
“All of the Rights commissions have expired, even though some have continued doing their work, their term have expired and it’s under active consideration at the committee of appointments,” PPP/C Parliamentarian Juan Edghill recently told reporters.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, under whose portfolio governance falls stated that there are no records or the Commissions and as such, the process had to be started from beginning. He added that under the previous administration that these commissions were left to languish and that his office is working to ensure that they are all operational as quickly as possible.
On this note Edghill stated that “we can’t keep hearing you were there and you didn’t do it, the ball is in the government’s court now. It’s one year.”
The PPP/C MP was most peeved with the lack of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), of which he was once the chairman.
Prime Minister Nagamootoo stated that the new commissioners will have to be constitutionally appointed and in this regard, the Parliamentary Committee on appointments has begun the process of meeting with national candidates for the Ethnic Relations Commission.
In relation to the Human Rights Commission, he stated that since it was never made operational under the PPP Government, himself and staff met with the UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] Resident Coordinator to ascertain best practices for the Commission’s format.
Commissioners were last appointed for the Women and Gender Equality Commission, Indigenous Peoples’ Commission and Rights of the Child Commission in 2010, while the Ethnic Relations Commission has been without a chair since 2011.
The Human Rights Commission, which has to be comprised of the chairpersons of the other four Commissions, was never constituted.