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Opposition Leader and President of the NDP, Godwin Friday.
Opposition Leader and President of the NDP, Godwin Friday.
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Opposition Leader Godwin Friday is attending a meeting in Trinidad focused on helping opposition parties in their efforts to get public account committees (PACs) to function as intended.

The PAC in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has not met for years after the government blocked the efforts to convene a meeting more than a decade ago, arguing that the rules were never approved by Parliament.

Friday said the Port of Spain meeting is being organised by the British Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and will also focus on how to make PACs vibrant and how to use the resources at the disposal of opposition parties to hold governments accountable.

“And this is something … [that] has been rather contentious for us here in this country because the government, on the one hand they keep saying, the opposition … they ain’t calling the Public Accounts Committee without acknowledging that they are the ones who stopped it from actually meeting so many years ago when you tried to hold a meeting of the committee,” the opposition leader said. 

“But now we resolved that we shall proceed and persevere with it,” he said on Monday on his weekly appearance on his New Democratic Party’s “New Times” on NICE Radio. “And let them bring their obstacles and their hypocrisy towards it. But we will continue to do our job.”

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The opposition leader left for Trinidad on Tuesday and is expected to return on Friday after the three-day meeting. 

“… one of the importance of these sorts of meetings is you meet leaders from all over the Caribbean,” he said, adding that people from Belize to Trinidad and Tobago will attend the meeting.

“So, I’ll be there and to give my take on what’s happening here in St. Vincent with respect to that committee, but also to learn as to how we can make the experiences of our countries in the region and how we can make this committee function irrespective of any obstacles that may be thrown up in our way by the present government.

“Never mind the hypocrisy about talking about you should call it and call it. They are the ones who stop it from being called in the first place, but we will persevere. So that is something that is on my agenda for this week.”