This view was expressed by Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira during a press conference on Saturday where she highlighted the government only convenes sittings of the National Assembly when it is to their convenience.
According to the politician, the “the vibrancy of a parliament, its dynamism is judged by how active it meets and by how heavy its agenda is and what it is doing because remember it’s the highest lawmaking body in the country.”
But she argued that there is no vibrancy in the Parliament of Guyana and neither is there democracy.
Teixeira complained about not having a private members day after every four sitting to raise issues of concern to the Opposition. In fact, she lambasted the government for failing to convene regular sittings.
“What is interesting is that there are 71 sittings in 30 months and if we deduct the 28 days for budget 2015, 2016 and 2017 and eight days for supplementary financial papers, we’ve had 36 sittings which have nothing to do with other matters of the parliament,” she explained.
The parliamentarian noted too that parliament was convened later than scheduled following the recess. It was convened on November 2 when it should have been done on October 10.
Teixeira contended that the government is reluctant to call sittings unless it has to do with topics of interest to them.
“Obviously as you know, the problem is there is only one seat difference between us so they are always caught in the trap of if someone is travelling, they can’t have a sitting,” she asserted.
Teixeira argued also that, in addition to the infrequent sittings, the opposition is constantly denied of its day to raise matters of their concern in the parliament.
“For 2017, there have only been two days for private members day even though the standing orders make it clear that every four sitting is ours,” she stated.
After the issue was raised repeatedly with the Clerk of the National Assembly, Teixeira said she has finally observed that a private members day was designated for November 17, 2017.
However, a closer examination of the agenda shows that the issues advanced by the opposition are not given priority.
Teixeira presumed that this is a deliberate attempt to muzzle the parliamentary opposition.