…on Govt Ministers
Oh what a tangled web…and all that!! Your Eyewitness, of course, is referring to the decision by the four Government MP’s – Guyanese-American Minister of State Joseph Harmon, and Guyanese-British Rupert Roopnaraine, Carl Greenidge and Dominic Gaskin – to resign from the National Assembly. Your Eyewitness had fulminated against the comment by the Cabinet spokesperson that they’d wait for Cabinet’s decision.
What was there to decide, in the face of the clear pronouncement of Article 155 on dual citizens being barred from even RUNNING for the National Assembly?! Even the mathematically nimble Court of Appeal could find no interpolation to overrule the CJ’s High Court ruling that such species be barred!! The Opposition immediately declared they’d abide by the court’s ruling over the weekend. So here it was, bright and early Monday morning, the Government’s dual-4 decided to call it quits!!
But, dear reader, you know when the PNC shakes your hand, you’d better count your fingers right away! So call your Eyewitness jaded but he doesn’t think the resignation by the dual-4 MPs means their resignation as Ministers will follow. And that’s even though, Article 183 (2) says: “The Office of any other (elected MP) Minister shall become vacant if the holder of the office (a) ceases to be a member (of the National Assembly) for any cause other than dissolution of Parliament.” In this case because of the dual citizen bar.
What’s that you say? Well we’ve seen how the PNC jumped from limb to legal limb on the NCM, didn’t we? Until they were caught on the dual citizen limb!! So which limb might they jump on now?? Well there’s the so called “Technocratic Ministers” limb hanging from Article 103 (3) which says: “Not more than four Ministers …shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are qualified to be elected as members of the National Assembly.”
But the President already appointed three persons in that category back in 2015 – Indigenous Minister Allicock, Immigration Minister Felix and Labour Minister Scott – so you may say there’s only one slot left. We may now see who’ll be the favourite son, for whom the fatted seat in Cabinet will be reserved. Interestingly, the PPP had objected to the appointment of Messers Allicock, Felix and Scott and taken the Govt to the courts. Where CJ Ian Chang ruled in the High Court that they were disqualified. The Speaker said he’d recognise that decision.
But, as usual, Basil Williams appealed and filed for a “stay of execution” in the Appellate Court, which was granted by Chancellor Carl Singh!
So who’ll the PNC have fall on their sword to save more than one fatted seat?? Never mind they’re still disqualified by 103 (3)!!
…on medical emergencies
The medical system must be complimented for acting with alacrity to deal with the tragedy that befell workers trying to reopen the Manganese mines at Matthews Ridge. But it also exposed the parlous state of readiness of the GPHC which couldn’t really handle the proper isolation and quarantining of a dozen individuals with symptoms suggesting that the deadly illness could be contagious.
From all indications the afflicted individuals had to’ve placed in wards that weren’t hermetically sealed – we simply don’t have this capability in Guyana. Aren’t we exposing other patients to the virus that possible might’ve caused the symptoms? The tragedy revealed the danger we face as our economy opens up with the advent of oil, and which will bring people from all parts of the word to our shores. And with communicable diseases like swine flu. Ebola etc circulating from medical hot spots, we have to get ready.
Are we equipped to isolate and quarantine individuals at the new (well refurbished) CJIA which cost a whopping US$150 million??
Let’s use this unfortunate incident as a wake-up call!
The 2005 floods introduced a new word into the Guyanese vocabulary – “lepto” – short for “leptospirosis”, a deadly disease spread by contact with rat urine and faeces.
We’re now told it’s back at the manganese mines. Are we prepared?