NY based democracy centre, FITUG urge Govt to end charade
CCJ consequential orders
…advised to comply with Constitution
…call for int’l community to hold APNU/AFC accountable
The International Center for Democracy (ICD) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) have become the latest organisations to urge the Government to comply with the Constitution of Guyana and recent Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) rulings.
In a statement on Tuesday, the ICD expressed concern that the appointment of a new Chairman of GECOM is being used as a barrier to timely elections.
According to the group, Guyana’s economic future with oil and gas cannot be derailed by unconstitutionality. It called on the Government to take its caretaker responsibilities seriously, noting that carrying on as though it’s business as usual flies in the face of the CCJ rulings. The ICD, therefore, urged political leaders to come together to resolve Guyana’s burgeoning constitutional crisis.
“A democratic Guyana, with an economy that can benefit enormously from a new oil and gas industry beginning in 2020, can be the model for transforming a developing country. This opportunity can only be squandered by a pathway whereby the Constitution is railroaded. All stakeholders must work diligently to avoid the trajectory Guyana is on at this time,” the group stated.
The New York-based group went on to urge the Caribbean Community, the ABC countries, the Inter American and Caribbean Development Banks and the World Bank to do their part in keeping Guyana on the right path.
The ICD also urged stakeholders, including the international community, to speak out and encourage the Government and the Opposition to ensure Guyana remains within the family of democratic nations.
“Subverting the Constitution is not consistent with a democratic nation and, unfortunately, Guyana is on the pathway of total subversion of its Constitution. Voices must be raised to encourage the stakeholders to be faithful to democratic principles and the Constitution,” the group added.
Meanwhile, FITUG also urged the Government to “do the right thing”. According to the workers union, the CCJ rulings are clear and unambiguous. FITUG noted the need for Guyana’s leaders to now act with integrity.
It expressed dismay that based on utterances from persons associated with the coalition, the Government seemed not to have any intent to be compliant. It noted that this does not bode well for the future, considering Guyana is supposed to experience exponential economic growth.
“We must express concern too, having taken account of statements that followed the CCJ ruling emanating from the Government, and more so President David Granger. Though we felt that the ruling was clear and unambiguous, it appears not to be the case when the Government’s utterances are considered.”
FITUG made it clear that for the Government to do otherwise is to plunge Guyana down a path that reverses previous efforts and struggles for democracy and the rule of law. The umbrella union body noted that even though the ruling was clear and ambiguous to it, the Government appeared to be confused about its meaning.
“This is disheartening, dismaying and is a worrying state of affairs that calls attention to a disrespect for the rule of law while not upholding our democratic culture and practices. For our Guyanese people, who in the past, struggled for the restoration of democracy and respect for law, this is an unwelcome reversal and one which is not reassuring of blissful times ahead, especially considering that Guyana is expected to be the world leader in economic growth in the coming years.”
The shenanigans and charades, it added, have been pursued for far too long and it is now time that we put Guyana and Guyanese first and be respectful of Guyana’s laws.
“It is in our interest and in the interest of future generations that we bequeath to them a society that is fully observant of democratic practices and respectful of the rule of law.”
These two groups are the latest to put pressure on the Government to respect the Constitution and court rulings, coming on the heels of the advocacy of the parliamentary Opposition, and statements from the diplomatic community and the Private Sector Commission.
On Monday the diplomatic community with the exception of Canada put out a joint communique in which it urged the Government to adhere to the consequential orders given by the CCJ.
In the joint statement, members of the diplomatic community in Guyana, including the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union, stated that they have taken note of the CCJ’s pronouncements on July 12.
They said it is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by the CCJ’s ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. The diplomats furthered urged that this adherence be done expeditiously.
“The Caribbean Court of Justice – Guyana’s Supreme Court – has spoken. It is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by its ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. We urge everyone to do so expeditiously,” the diplomats said in the joint communique.
This follows statements issued by the PSC, which noted in a statement that the appointment of a new Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman must be done the right way. The Commission, which is the umbrella body for the business community, warned that President David Granger must not go down the road of another unilateral appointment.