St George’s – Opposition members of the Lower House of Parliament said they were prepared to work with the new government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell on anything that will positively impact citizens, but they will fight any legislation that will create extra hardship.
Two of the six successful New National Party (NNP) candidates from the general election on June 23 that was won by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) made their position clear at a news conference on Thursday.
“We are going to support anything that will be for the benefit of the people,” St Andrew South-East member of parliament, Emmalin Pierre said.
“If the government does well on something, we will recognise that, and if there are areas where there can be an improvement, I don’t think the government will operate in a way where it doesn’t want to hear anything as it relates to areas that can be improved.
“We will offer any sort of suggestion or input that will help to strengthen the legislative agenda and to make the agenda more relevant for the people.”
Pierre will take the oath of office along with other MPs during the first session of Parliament on August 31.
Clarice Modeste, member of parliament for St Mark, said opposition MPs were vital to the governance structure.
She said she was expecting that parliamentary documents will be provided to them under the rules.
“We expect the Order Paper will be circulated in a timely manner, that the bills that will be taken up will be done in a timely manner, so we will have adequate preparation time to make our contribution to whatever the debate is, to whatever the discussion is … to disagree where we see,” said Modeste, who won her seat for the sixth time.
NNP general secretary Roland Bhola said the parliamentary arm of the party, which will comprise the six MPs in the Lower House and three senators in the Upper House, will only oppose for good reason.
“As a party, we are very much prepared to look at what the new legislation will be, what the new legislative framework will be to give assistance where we can, to agree with those that we believe are generally for the benefit of the people of the country,” he said.
“And in areas where we need to oppose and oppose vehemently, we will with good reason, but we are not prepared to put up unnecessary fights and create unnecessary conflicts with the government.
“We are prepared to support all the things that are important, necessary, and will be helpful to the Grenadian people. But, of course, if we recognise that any bite of new legislation or anything that needs to be changed or adjusted may create extra hardship, economically, socially, or otherwise, we are going to put up a fight and we are going to make our voices heard.”
The NNP – led by Dr Keith Mitchell – governed Grenada from February 2013 when it won all 15 seats, until their election loss this year.