[www.inewsguyana.com] – The recently signed ‘Cummingsburg Accord’ which resulted in the declaration of a coalition between the Alliance for Change (AFC) and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), is not as clear cut as it seems, according to Presidential Adviser Gail Teixeira.
Teixeira says there are a number of critical areas that Guyanese need to be aware of. The first is the assurance that AFC will have 12 seats.
“This is absolutely assured, it’s water tight, and the statement by the Speaker the other day, Mr. (Raphael) Trotman made it very clear it was not if they win, it was also if they were not to win, which is a major issue which needs to be looked at”.
The second issue that is quite deceptive, she added, has to do with the presidential powers and the prime ministerial powers.
“The other issue is that the AFC and the other will divide up the Cabinet, in a 60/40 margin with 60% going to APNU and 40% going to AFC.
The accord, Teixeira noted, is merely proposing to get the government out of office, “Let’s get rid of the PPP then we’ll figure it out afterwards. This is what I call the work of deception of the accord and one on the Guyanese public”.
She cited the proposed changes to the Cabinet by the joint opposition as harkening back to the People’s National Congress (PNC) regime. She explained that the constitution provides for the president who can appoint vice presidents.
“First amongst VPs is the PM, it doesn’t state how many VPs you can have. Many Guyanese have the memory of these VPs in the pre-1992 days. The Patriotic Coalition for Democracy (PCD) was concerned that the only VP you could entertain was the PM and the constitution does not define how many you can have so basically the president could decide that all his ministers are VPs fundamentally!”
She called on young people, who want to know more, to go to the legal affairs website and look at the constitution at Ch. 1:01.
“The constitution is very clear, it says the president is Head of State, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and is the supreme executive authority. The constitution also protects and insulates the president in a variety of ways. e.g. in article 96 it talks about the absence of the president and decides that the PM or any other minister acting, cannot dissolve parliament and cannot revoke any of the appointment he has made, to ensure that the president is insulated from coup types. The president in his absence can ask the prime minister or any other minister to chair the cabinet, this is an administrative arrangement”.
Teixeira mentioned Article 107 which deals with the ministerial portfolios, explaining that the president, who appoints under the constitution, does not deal with political party issues.
In Teixeira’s opinion the AFC has come out better in the accord than the APNU, explaining that if there was a total of 32 seats, the AFC would get 12 and reduce the APNU to 20 seats. This is a hybrid type of geographic system, she further opined, “If the AFC/APNU reduces the number of geographic seats it gets in the set up then it means they are taking from the top up level. They could get two seats in the actual vote, but they are still guaranteed 12 seats. [Extracted and modified from GINA]