Opposition Leader seeking wider discussion with President Ali
Leader of the Opposition Aubrey Norton has indicated his commitment to meeting with President Dr. Irfaan Ali but believes that talks should extend beyond the appointment of Commissioners to various bodies.
President Ali told the News Room on Wednesday that he plans on meeting with Norton in two weeks time to discuss “matters relating to the constitution.”
Consultations between these two leaders are needed for the reconstitution of several Commissions, including the Integrity Commission, the Public Service Commission and the Judicial Service Commissions.
The appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice could be initiated too.
And President Ali emphasised, “Every area that the constitution requires me to consult (with the Opposition Leader), I will consult to have these Commissions come into operation.”
Norton, during a press briefing on Thursday, said that he will fulfil his constitutional responsibility of engaging in meaningful consultations with the President.
He, however, advocated for a wider agenda during the proposed engagement.
“The meeting with the President, should it occur, must extend beyond the appointment of Commissioners and Judges.
“Meetings must also discuss opposition concerns about good governance and the abuse of political power by the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) government,” Norton said.
And making the case for his position, the Opposition Leader said that he is tasked with representing the interests of Guyanese and as such, issues that are of concern to both the government and parliamentary opposition should be discussed.
Should Norton and President meet, this will be the first time that the country’s President and Opposition Leader are engaging since the March 2020 elections.
It is important to note, however, that Norton was only last week sworn in as a Member of Parliament and selected as the country’s Opposition Leader.
Norton’s selection as Opposition Leader was delayed for months, despite edging Former Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon and becoming the Leader of the People’s National Congress/ Reform (PNCR) in December last.