Georgetown, Guyana (December 15, 2020) Former Presidents of Guyana and current Head of State, Dr Irfaan Ali have agreed that Constitutional and Electoral Reform should be people driven.
The former leaders of Guyana, Mr Samuel Hinds, Mr Donald Ramotar and Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and the sitting president met today for the initial President’s Meeting during a working lunch at State House.
Notably absent from the high-level meeting was Mr David Granger.
The engagement, the Head of State stressed, provided the opportune platform for the sharing of ideas on very important national issues.
“Different ideas on Constitutional Reform; not only ideas but how the former presidents saw the issues of Constitutional Reform, how it should be undertaken, were discussed.”
President Ali said that what came out is a consensus that the process should be people driven and not a “backroom” type of procedure.
“People must play an integral role in the reform.”
He noted too that Electoral Reform was another subject area that was discussed and placed on the agenda. Specifically ideas on how to strengthen the electoral system, have external support in our legislation, stronger penalties as well as a clearer definition in terms of the electoral system.
In September, President Ali reiterated his position that consultation and inclusivity are vital to Electoral and Constitutional Reform.
“You will not see a President who will say; this is what we are going to do. Of course, I have my ideas on what should be done, but the final product has to come through a consultative mechanism and machinery that involves the citizens of the country,” President Ali had stated.
RACIAL HOSTILITY ACT, NATIONAL UNITY
Also high on the agenda was the issue of national unity and the process of achieving it.
The President said that today’s discussions were “wide ranging” and covered various areas including oil and gas, local content, climate change, national security and sovereignty among other issues.
President Ali said that similar engagements will be held quarterly.