Home Letters Respect the Constitution and the people of Guyana
The tension in Guyana continues to be heightened as the deadline for the NCM (No-Confidence Motion) that was successfully passed on December 21, 2018, is closely approaching. While the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo publicly ventilated his argument on the NCM, President David Granger refused to comment on the issue of the NCM.
As Guyanese, we should urge Caricom to start playing a more meaningful role in the current political crisis that is developing in Guyana and must not allow the current situation to escalate to what transpired post-election December 15, 1997, with an election unrest.
The then intervention by Caricom successfully facilitated and support mechanisms to lubricate the process of sustained dialogue to foster harmony and confidence between political parties.
External pressure must be enforced immediately on the President in order to derail this constitutional crisis that is already evident in Guyana. President David Granger’s refusal to respect the parliamentary sovereignty or legislative supremacy is an erosion of parliamentary democracy in Guyana. There is no constitutional court or Supreme Court that can have an explicit right to declare a law unconstitutional.
The Constitution of Guyana did not give President David Granger the power, privilege or authority to violate the supreme laws of Guyana but empowered him by the oath of office to be the President of Guyana.
Therefore, if we examine the oath of office, “I ….. Do hereby solemnly declare that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the people of Guyana, that I will execute the office of President without fear or favour affection or ill will and that in the execution of the functions of that office I will honour, uphold and preserve the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana “. It confirmed that the oath is a binding contractual agreement between the President and the people of Guyana, to ensure that the Constitution is being upheld, respected and protected.
The President must also be cautious since Article 9 of the Guyana Constitution, which deals with sovereignty, indicates that, “Sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it through their representatives and the democratic organs established by or under the Constitution”.
What this Article is telling us, is that the people as a whole are supreme in relation to any actions taken by any elected officials. President David Granger must remember that he serves as a representative of the people and not a supreme leader of the people since the President has taken an oath of office to respect the Constitution. As such, he is subject to the laws and is duty-bound to obey them.
We must remember that the President and GECOM are creatures of the Constitution, the Constitution is not a creature of the President nor GECOM. This definitely means that the office-holders must not operate above this supreme instrument, but strictly within the confines of the Constitution.
The media, which is considered a vital institution to democracy and participates in the process of sharing information, ideas etc should continue to stand in protection of the supreme laws of our country.