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Harmon writes Rowley on President’s refusal to engage the opposition

Guyana’s Leader of the Opposition is calling on CARICOM’s Chairman, Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley to urgently address the Ali led government’s refusal to engage with the party that makes up the majority of the parliamentary opposition as well as President Irfaan Ali’s refusal to meet with Leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon.

In the letter dated March 18, 2021 and dispatched to the Rowley, Harmon said that the President has “adamantly refused” to meet with the parliamentary opposition on “the spurious grounds of recognition by theLeader of the Opposition and the supporters of APNU+AFC”.

Ali has repeatedly said he will not meet with Harmon who holds a constitutional office until Harmon publicly acknowledges his government has a legitimate one.

“This Honourable Chairman, is, without question, inflammatory, unacceptable, undemocratic and a cop out,” Harmon said in his letter, “it is also the antithesis of the spirit of inclusive and consultative leadership. I have indicated, at all times, my willingness to meet and have publicly stated so.”

Referring to the recommendations of the CARICOM Elections Observation Report, Harmon called for the intervention of the regional body.

“When a government of Guyana is formed, CARICOM Secretariat should find some way to mediate the issue between the two (2) main political parties to start the healing process of the country and to start the closing of the ethnic divide,” the recommendation read.

“I support this recommendation and against this background, I urge that the CARICOM mechanism, under your leadership sees the urgent need for decisive action,” Harmon wrote.

In his letter, Harmon raised several issues that he is prepared to engage on as he said these require “urgent attention”. Among this’ is for the two to “agree that there is need for immediate and urgent protection of our sovereignty and National patradeony.”

The Leader of the Opposition said too that there is an urgent need to update “our Election laws to ensure a List of Electors which reflect the reality of Guyana.”

Harmon wants the two to also address the needs of the poor as he said

“The PPP Government cannot function by just seeing red or green communities. Our communities are made up of people, we must agree that constructive engagements based on clear principles and broadened stakeholdership at the National, Regional and Community levels is a sine qua non for our development,” the letter reads, “we must immediately shift from ethnic marginalization and vindictiveness,” he said in his letter to Rowley.