Opposition Leader a no-show at scheduled meeting with President Ali

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President Dr Irfaan Ali and Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton met for the first time on May 13. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall SC, and Opposition Member of Parliament Roysdale Forde, SC were also present at the meeting

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has condemned the unexplained absence of Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, who was expected to meet with him earlier today, for a second round of consultation.

Dr. Ali said Norton has “demonstrated his immaturity” in dealing with important matters, when he failed to show up without explanation.

The meeting today was expected to include discussions on the appointments of statutory and constitutional bodies, as mandated by the Constitution. However, the Opposition Leader did not turn up.

“These are important national issues and I want them completed in an environment of respect and an environment of dignity, because as I have said before, I am pursuing ‘One Guyana.’ It is clear to me that those aspirations of mine may not be shared by Mister Norton, because he did not have the dignity, the professionalism to even respond orally or in writing to the invitation,” President Ali said in a live facebook message, more than half of an hour after the scheduled meeting time.

On May 27, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira invited Norton to continue the consultation at 2:00 PM on May 30. In that letter, which was delivered to Congress Place, the Opposition Leader was advised that should he be unable to attend, he should send his additional contributions in writing.

The President said he has received no such communication from the opposition leader.

During the first meeting on May 13, Norton had made one request for all the curriculum vitaes of the persons put forward for the various agencies. That information was provided within the time frame committed.

“In compliance with the relevant statutory and constitutional provisions, the statute or articles relative to each specific one was identified including the proposed names for each were provided. These include the proposed five names for the Integrity Commission, the proposed name for the Judicial Service Commission, the proposed Chairperson from among the National Assembly’s approved four names of the Police Service Commission, and the proposed three names for the Teaching Service Commission,” Dr. Ali relayed.

He explained that due to Guyana’s hosting of the inaugural Agri Forum and Expo on May 19 to 21, he was unable to meet the Opposition Leader sooner. Hence, an invite was sent for another meeting on May 30.

“If this is the approach by the leader of the Opposition, I have no problem with that. My approach is to move this country forward, to take our country forward in keeping with the constitutional requirements. We will not have those requirements held hostage by political objects. It is with great regret that I have to address you on this matter,” he added.

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