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Feb 20, 2020

P.U.P. Leader: General Elections Should Be Called Now

John Briceño

Now the N.T.U.C.B. has made several demands to government, which they say must be met ahead of the next general elections, expected later this year. Amongst those requests is the reconfiguring of the Public Accounts Committee and the Integrity Commission as well as the reconvening of meetings of the UNCAC Steering Committee. The unions are also asking for an independent investigation into the alleged wrongdoing by former minister John Saldivar and the implementation of campaign financing laws. Leader of the Opposition John Briceño says that the demands are in line with the P.U.P.’s policy reform proposals unveiled in a press conference last week. 


John Briceño, Party Leader, P.U.P.

“Last week Thursday, I made those very proposals: strengthening the Auditor General’s Office for them to have their own budget, to be totally independent with subpoena powers and investigative power. Strengthening the Integrity Commission, remove it from the control of the government; again with their independent budget and with the ability to investigate any and everybody. The very proposal to be made, at least one house meeting per month; strengthening the PAC, making sure that government cannot control and frustrate the workings of the Public Accounts Committee. We want to stream live all house committee meetings so that every citizen can see what is going on in these house committees.  We are talking about openness, transparency and accountability. So I am happy that the unions support the proposals that we made last week Thursday. These are solid proposals that we are going to present within the first hundred days of the new P.U.P. government, including campaign finance legislation.”


Duane Moody

“Now sir, while the P.U.P. made a call for general elections now, interestingly the unions have not done so. Instead they are saying otherwise; that all these things must be met before a general election is called. Anything to that?”


John Briceño

“This is where we disagree vehemently with the unions. If the U.D.P. government has been unable to make these changes in twelve years, how can we expect them to do these changes in six months or seven months or eight months? And if they do it, it is going to be a hazard job. So if we do it, we need to do it with enough consultations. The idea is that we are going to present these Bills and then have wide consultations with everybody: from the unions to the private sector to our social partners, the churches, everybody for us to have laws that noh only sound good, but also that it can work for the benefit of the people of this country.”

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