21 new pieces of legislation enacted in 2023 alone – Min. Teixeira

Following a regionwide record of new pieces of legislation in a single year, Guyana has managed to maintain its legislative pace, enacting 21 new laws through the National Assembly in 2023.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira on Wednesday at her end-of-year press conference, said the achievement is in keeping with the government’s commitment to enhance the legislative framework of the country.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira

“From September 2020 to now, approximately 78 bills have been passed in Parliament…What we have been bringing as a government to Parliament has been pieces of legislation that are transformational [and] that are modernising the legal framework of Guyana,” the minister pointed out.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance has the responsibility of ensuring that government business is handled and passed smoothly through the National Assembly.

In 2023, a total of 23 bills were tabled by the government. Two of these bills are now enjoying the attention of a special select committee.

Some of the bills recently passed include the Digital Identity Card Bill, the Planning and Development Single Window System Bill, and the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill.

“There are a number of bills that have been brought in 2023 that deal with transforming the legislative structure. In order to move forward, if there are impediments in the law because some are old or not in keeping with new technology and systems, we have to make changes,” Minister Teixeira further explained.

Moreover, the minister criticised claims made by the opposition that the government only goes to the National Assembly when it is time for budget debates or to ask for supplementary funding. This, she said, is disproven by the facts.

“The bills that were laid for budget and supplementary finance are three. So, if we have 21 bills and three dealt with supplementary and budget, then what were we doing with the others? Do the maths,” she asserted.

Among the other highlights of the ministry in 2023 are the resuscitation of the National Stakeholders Forum, the successful execution of the Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Expo, and its extensive engagements with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR).

The governance minister also reminded that in June 2023, Dr Christopher Arif Bulkan was elected as Commissioner of the IACHR for four years. This represents the first Guyanese to officially take up a seat on the IACHR.

Minister Teixeira expressed hope that 2024 will see more legislation being debated and passed in the National Assembly.

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