Failure to respect the judicial rulings on the No-confidence Motion will be politically and economically detrimental for Guyana

On January 31, 2019, the Chief Justice delivered her judgement on the No-confidence Motion issue which was much to the disfavour of the Government – and which is technically now characterised as a fallen Government in light of the learned Chief Justice’ ruling. To give a brief synopsis of the events thereto, after the ruling of the High Court was delivered and as was expected, the Government announced even before the court ruled that they will appeal that ruling all the way up to the Caribbean Court of Justice which is the final court of appeal for Guyana. In the meanwhile, members of Government, including his Excellency David Granger, declared they are not resigning at one of their elections campaign forum.
Though appealing this matter is perfectly well in order, it must be done in an extremely expeditious manner to avert a political and constitutional crisis on or before March 21, 2019. If this is not done and the Government continues to hold onto power and impose its dictates that they have no intentions of resigning or even calling General Elections speedily, it is unfortunate to say that after March 21, 2019, the Opposition will effectively not recognise the Government as a legitimate government, the international community based on some public pronouncements already, may also recognise the Government as an illegitimate government in office and these are certainly not good signs for Guyana. These events are almost a replica of the situation in Venezuela recently and Guyana is not even producing oil as yet.
Hence, this is a worrying time for Guyana against the aforementioned because there will be a political and economic crisis and even a constitutional crisis if the appeals are not dealt with in a timely manner. What will happen in these circumstances is Guyana will become politically weak and vulnerable; the country’s sovereignty will also become highly vulnerable in light of threats from Venezuela on the controversial border matter surrounding the two countries – in other words, such risks which Guyana is currently faced with in protecting the country’s sovereignty will also be escalated to a high risk of the undesirable at this time.
Moreover, on the economic development side, both private and foreign investors are already worried and holding back from getting involved in terms of investing in Guyana – much less signing any contracts with the Government. The manifestation of these events will only hurt the Guyanese people; especially the working class at the expense of politicians fighting for power and clinging to power without any regard for a strong and prudently governed economy in the interest of all its peoples. The economy is at risk of becoming standstill overall, very little or no investment will occur during this period, unemployment will be on the rise, crime will be on the rise and social and economic hardships will be imposed upon the working class especially.
It is therefore strongly suggested by this author that if indeed the coalition political party, now a fallen government (until and unless the Appeal Court rules otherwise), are confident as they boldly continue to contend, then do the mature thing like the Opposition did when same was brought against them in the Parliament in 2015, the President at that time did a politically mature thing to dissolve the Parliament and immediately call a snap election, despite losing that election. Now, the tables have turned and the actions of the sitting Government speaks anything but democratic practices and political maturity on their part. In the eyes of the intellectual community, they are only discrediting themselves much to their insolent embarrassment.
It is hoped that the international community continue to impose strong pressures upon the political leaders on both sides for there to be national elections as early as possible. It is the only amicable solution to settle this matter on confidence or no confidence. The electorate should determine this outcome and not a court of law within these circumstances – especially since one High Court has already spoken and the Legislature has spoken as well – quite consistently.