Your Eyewitness has noted with more than a little consternation that some commentators are talking about a “constitutional crisis” in Guyana, after the no-confidence motion was validly passed. There certainly is a crisis in Guyana, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the constitution. What we have is a naked power grab by the PNC after the Constitution most clearly told them it’s “sayonara” time.
The fact that the coalition has resorted to the Courts cannot undermine the clear language of the Constitution on what is a “majority” in the House of Assembly. We don’t have to look at any HISTORICAL record to figure out if cutting up people into halves a la DR Frankenstein is the way to go. Just look at what happened after the elections of 2011, when both the APNU and AFC were involved.
The PPP got 32 seats in the National Assembly to the PNC’s 26 and the AFC’s 7; but because the PPP won the most votes in a three-way contest – a “PLURALITY” — they were able to name their candidate as “President”, because that’s what our Constitution says. In the Assembly, however, the PPP with its 32 seats couldn’t pass any legislation since the APNU and AFC had 33 seats combined. They had the majority there!! And even used it to threaten the PPP with a no-confidence motion!!!
In 2015, because the APNU and AFC went into a coalition BEFORE the election, their votes were combined, and their greater amount of votes — which translated into 33 seats to the 32 of the PPP — gave them both the Presidency and a majority in the Assembly. For three and a half years, the APNU/AFC used that 33 seat MAJORITY to not only pass any legislation their little hearts desired, but were able to control the Appointments Committee and such like!! As a matter of fact, just days after losing the no-confidence vote, they expelled the MP with a conscience and replace him with a “yes woman”, and passed the most important Bill in a century – the Natural Resources Bill – with their 33 seat majority!!
Now, lo and behold (as they use to say in Bible class), APNU and AFC now claim while 33 seats is a majority to claim the control of the Assembly and the Government, 33 isn’t the majority to unseat the Government?? How can this ridiculous position be called a “constitutional” crisis?? We hope the Chief Justice will announce that this confounded nonsense must be stopped, lest we become a jurisprudential laughing stock in the Region. The law mustn’t be allowed to become “an ass”!
She should dismiss the suit as frivolous and vexatious – not to mention “malicious”.
If nothing else, the desperate efforts of the PNC Government to cling on to power (so that they can get their grubby big paws on the mega oil dough!) has demonstrated that whatever “racial togetherness” their coalition claimed to have created in 2015 is long gone — even among the young folks whom everyone has been saying represented a “break with the past”.
This was brought out loud and clear in a video-conference with Charrandas Persaud as the “main man”. It appears that all the political parties and several activists – including the vociferous PNC- backed Rickford Burke — had been invited but only Sase Singh appeared. Burke balked? Nothing much that wasn’t already out there was revealed, but it was the comments by the audience and on the Facebook page that were most revealing to your eyewitness. The cleavage along race was stark – even though the panellists took pains to insist it wasn’t a “race thing”!
It does appear that this election – whenever it’s scheduled – will rival 1964 in polarisation.
…a “high” platform
Your Eyewitness has already noted that the acronym for new party “NUG” – a New United Guyana – is the name of the dried marijuana bud.
But is their first announcement: that they’ll legalise marijuana, confirmation that they’ll get Guyana high?