The Constitution of our country, as in every other democracy, is a body of fundamental principles or established precedents by which we have all agreed to be governed.
It is a body of laws that set the standard for every facet of our lives and it is not to be trifled with nor be picked apart piecemeal to accommodate partisan whims and fancies.
A Constitution is the cornerstone of every principled democracy and allows for parliamentarians to vote their conscience. This ruling is fundamental to a democratic state and is considered a normal piece of business in true democracies where legislators are not threatened with compliance to party policies. If lawmakers in Guyana have to toe the party line, the country would in essence regress to being a dictatorship as during the PNC’s previous time in office.
With regard to the current impasse following the successful passage of last December’s No-Confidence Motion, several letter writers continue to advance arguments for compromise and for interpretations of the law that favour partisan views and are clearly unconstitutional. While democratic governance encourages debate, discussion and compromise, the decisions taken at the end of the day always have to comply with the rule of law which is inviolable and assures fairness and justice for everyone involved.
The Constitution was crafted for just such contentious times when the country stands divided and steadying the ship means holding fast to the rules that have been agreed to and which guarantee the rights and privileges of every single citizen without fear or favour.
It provides a clear path through the obstructions and partisan views being thrown in its way and as Guyana still awaits long-overdue elections, it is crucial that the newly appointed GECOM Chair Justice Claudette Singh acts to protect and guarantee the constitutional right of the electorate to participate in free and fair elections which will, in turn, ensure our continued status as a democracy.