Leader of the Opposition Dr. Gale T C Rigobert earlier today participated in the Meeting of the Leaders of the Parliamentary Opposition of OECS member states convened by the OECS Commission; the second of its kind held within the last two years.
Dr. Rigobert attending for the first time as Leader of the Opposition, welcomed the meeting as ‘a step in the right direction, in recognising the critical role of the Opposition in the Governance of our regional democracies.’
Dr Rigobert commented, ‘I applaud the OECS Commission for its efforts at inclusive governance and for attempting to correct the historically disturbing trend of excluding Opposition Parties from governance – both at the national and regional levels.’
According to Dr. Rigobert meetings such as this afford Opposition parties the opportunity to critique and to inform regional policies and to bridge the information gaps that sometimes exist between Opposition parties and regional bodies (and the work that they do).
Furher, Dr. Rigobert asserted that ‘Today’s meeting suggests that our democracies are maturing as our regional bodies show greater appreciation for the relevance of the Opposition and the need to engage Opposition parties in comprehensive, open, free and fair dialogue.’
Dr. Rigobert has called on the OECS Commission and Leaders of the Opposition of the OECS region to make a concerted effort to meet more frequently as there is an urgent need to keep Leaders of the Opposition (and the parties they represent) in the know, on the work being undertaken by the OECS Commission.
According to Dr. Rigobert ‘Our shared interests and shared vulnerabilities underscore the need for more frequent engagement so as to better inform the policy agenda and output of the OECS Commission.’ Dr. Rigobert is optimistic that meetings such as this go a long way in ‘flattening the learning curve and allowing for more seamless transition when Opposition parties on winning elections find themselves at the reins of Government.’
Dr. Rigobert implored the OECS Commission to maintain more open channels of communication to correct the information deficit and to maintain high levels of interest and buy in from Opposition parties.