Opposition lacks structure but gov’t doing best to fulfill duties – EU diplomat
By Kurt Campbell
A more structured and strong political opposition is needed if Guyana is to properly confront the challenges that lie ahead, according to the outgoing European Union (EU) Ambassador to Guyana, Dr. Fernando Pontz Cantó, who also believes that the Irfaan Ali-led government is doing its best to fulfill its duties.
“I am firmly convinced that the government is working hard to bring more prosperity to the people of Guyana and to fulfill its duties,” the EU diplomat said during an exclusive interview with the News Room which will be aired in full at 19:00 hrs on Sunday on E1 and the News Room’s Facebook page.
Dr. Cantó reasoned that while the development of Guyana seems to be headed towards ensuring inclusivity and sustainability, a strong political opposition is also needed.
“This country needs a strong opposition.
“I hope that the opposition in this country will become more structured and more capable of fulfilling the important role that any opposition has in any country,” the diplomat noted as he pointed out that the political climate in Guyana remains complicated.
Dr. Cantó who held the post since 2019, recalled the protracted general and regional elections in 2020 and attempts “by a small group of people” to change the outcome of those elections.
Two years on, he believes Guyana remains wounded from the events of that period.
“This is time to look to the future and perhaps it’s like driving a car, you look in the mirror from time to time, but mostly you look in front of you.
“I would love to see that and expect and hope that both sides – but perhaps the opposition more – gets into the new mode looking in front,” he added.
The EU Diplomat urged both sides to have dialogue in the interest of the people.
“It will be good at some point to have some internal debate, to have some closure and then look in front,” Dr. Cantó added while noting that the challenges ahead for Guyana will require a lot of work and effort from all political players.
“We [the EU] have an excellent relationship with the government…we feel that we have [an] open door to the government and we appreciate that very much.”
The EU diplomat reasoned that confronting the challenges of the future will require not only government policies but “state policies.”
He hastened to add, however, that to achieve this will require interlocutors as dialogue at the highest levels between the government and opposition has broken down.
One such area where a state policy is needed, the Ambassador said, is the oil and gas sector.
“Having said this, I have to say I am also aware of the challenges in front of the government and if the past has been difficult, the future is going to be complicated,” he added.
He highlighted that the Guyanese people have high expectations of the government and it will be important for everyone to benefit from the ‘new prosperity.