No longer Opposition Leader, Harmon closes budget debates for APNU+AFC


Joseph Harmon, who resigned as the Leader of the Opposition last week, closed out the Opposition’s presentations to the 2022 Budget Debates- a task usually performed by the Opposition Leader.

Harmon was not physically present at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre in Liliendaal, Georgetown. Instead, he provided his one-hour presentation via Zoom.

The Former Opposition Leader’s presentation was seemingly boycotted by a number of Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs), as they left during his presentation.

Just a week ago, Joseph Harmon who lost the PNC/R leadership elections to Norton last December, resigned from the post of Opposition Leader under mounting pressure.

Harmon, however, remains an MP and has refused to give up that post altogether.

Days after his resignation, however, former Education Minister Nicolette Henry resigned as an Opposition Parliamentarian to make way for Norton’s entry to Parliament. Once sworn in as an MP, Norton is likely to also take up the vacant post of Opposition Leader.

The Former Opposition Leader’s presentation was seemingly boycotted by a number of Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs)

Because of Henry’s resignation, it was reported that Norton would be sworn in before the end of this week. He has not yet been called to Parliament; former President David Granger has to nominate Norton for a parliamentary seat.

Harmon, however, thanked Henry for her “sterling service in this honourable House” and wished her well in her future endeavours early in his presentation.

He also thanked his Opposition colleagues for their contributions to the budget debates. Those contributions, he opined, aptly reflect the criticisms and concerns the opposition has of the budget.

“I, like most Guyanese, am extremely proud of my colleagues,” Harmon said.

It is important to note, however, that during the budget debates, the last Speaker from the Opposition’s side of the House is usually the Opposition Leader. That Opposition speaker is followed by the Prime Minister who is the leader of the government’s business in the house and the Finance Minister.

Nevertheless, as he closed the debates, criticising the budget, Harmon said that while in government the APNU+AFC crafted policies, plans and projects that catered to all Guyanese.

Those, he said, put more disposable income in the pockets of all Guyanese. This is a point that has been repeatedly rebuked by members of the government who pointed out that the APNU+AFC administration introduced a number of new taxes that reduced people’s money.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.