10 ERC members approved by National Assembly

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The Third Report of the Standing Committee on Appointments to address matters relating to the Nomination and Appointment of Members to the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), following brief debates, was on Friday night adopted in the National Assembly.

The motion for the adoption of the report which was moved by Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton reads “whereas the parliamentary standing committee on appointments agreed to uphold resolution no 68 of 2014, which approved the list of entities to be consulted for nomination to the ethnic relations commission; and whereas the entities met and made submissions of their nominations between April 27, 2016, and January 25, 2017.”

The National Assembly also approved the appointment the following persons from the following categories as members of the Ethnic Relations Commission:

Christian Bodies: Dr. John O. Smith

Hindu Bodies: Sister Rajkumarie Singh

Muslim Bodies: Mr. Roshan Khan

Labour Movement Bodies: Mr. Norris Emanuel Witter

Private Sector Organisations: Major-General (Retd.) Norman Mclean

Youth Organisations: Mr. Deodat Persaud

Women Organisations: Ms. Ruth Howard

Cultural/Ethnic Bodies: – 

Afro-Guyanese: Mr. Barrington Braithwaite

Indo-Guyanese: Mr. Neaz Subhan

Indigenous/Amerindian Bodies: Mr. Ashton Simon

Minister Norton disclosed that there were nine meetings of the Committee, but difficulties were encountered with the Indo-Guyanese body. He acknowledged that more consultations with the citizens would have been welcomed.

However, he told the House that persons were not as responsive even when the deadlines were extended.

The Opposition raised concerns with the length of time it took for persons to be appointed the Commission. Minister Norton said while an earlier time would have been appropriate for such an important body, there were several hindrances to the process.

He expressed satisfaction that the appointments have been approved. The last ERC was dissolved in 2011. (Department of Public Information)

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