PRESS STATEMENT Friday March 21, 2003 From the Parliamentary Opposition Parties PNCR-GAP/WPA-ROAR

The Parliamentary Opposition Parties note with concern the article appearing in the Stabroek Newspaper of today’s date, Friday March 21, 2003 under the caption: “Government offers deal on Parliamentary Committees”.

At a meeting today, in the ongoing consultations among the Parliamentary Opposition Parties, on the proposed engagement between President Jagdeo and the PNCR Leader, Mr. Corbin, members expressed concern about an inaccuracy in the report.

We wish to point out that the proposal for the Parliamentary Management Committee be comprised 5 PPP, 3 PNC, 1 GAP/WPA, and 1 ROAR, with the Speaker as a non-voting Chairman had been on the table from the Opposition for some time now and had been formalized in writing and sent to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, special representative of the President, since February 25, 2003.

It is erroneous for the Stabroek News to report that the opposition had originally proposed that the Speaker be given an original vote and the Government had refused to accept it.

Further the opposition Parties reject the inference that the affairs of the Parliament should be the subject of any deal cutting.

The opposition Parties expect that any engagement between the opposition Parties and the Government would be in good faith and hope that the information leaked to the Stabroek News is not intended to score cheap propaganda points and give the impression that tremendous progress has been made in the preparations for the meeting between President Jagdeo and the Leader of the, PNCR.

Furthermore the opposition parties wish to point out that while there has been a positive Government response on one issue, there are several other fundamental issues still to be addressed.

Georgetown, Guyana.
March 22, 2003