President Irfaan Ali
October 29 ,2021
President Irfaan Ali on Friday appeared to back down from his long-held position that he would not be meeting with Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon to discuss key constitutional appointments unless the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) is recognised as being legitimately in office.
They include substantive appointments for the positions of Chancellor, Chief Justice and the Police Commissioner. He also said when he returns from next month’s Global Climate Conference, the appointment of a Judicial Service Commission and Boards would be addressed.
The Guyanese leader told a news conference that he is prepared to meet with Mr. Harmon in accordance with Guyana’s constitution. “I am fully committed to abiding by every aspect of the constitution. There is no precondition to fulfilling my mandate in accordance with the constitution,” he said.
President Ali, however, argued that Mr. Harmon now has a “moral problem” to reconcile how he will meet with the President for a government that he does not recognise. “This is outside of that mandate in relation to my constitutional role where you have someone who is continuously saying that this government is illegitimate so he has a moral problem so how does he explain talking to some government he is claiming is illegitimate; that is his moral problem and that will expose his duplicity,” he said.
Mr. Harmon and his A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change opposition coalition have said they do not recognise the government because of alleged electoral fraud by the People’s Progressive Party.
At the same time, Mr. Harmon is on record as saying that he is ready to meet with the President.