[www.inewsguyana.com] – Eight local Civil Society organizations, in a joint press statement today, called on President Donald Ramotar to put an early end to his almost one month old prorogation of Guyana’s Parliament.
The organizations urged President Ramotar to swiftly exercise the options of either an immediate resumption of Parliament or holding of general elections.
The Groups said that at this critical juncture of political uncertainty and national importance they are concerned at the decision by the President to prorogue Guyana’s Parliament “which is in effect a suspension of our parliamentary democracy.”
“This is a crisis of governance on all fronts and requires urgent dialogue, mediation and citizen and civil society intervention. It is unprecedented since Independence and the way forward is tentative. We are concerned at the serious implications for our fragile democracy and the repercussions for fundamental citizens’ rights, business, stability and indeed all Guyanese,” the joint statement noted.
Among those registering concern were: Transparency Institute Guyana Inc, Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Blue CAPS, Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church, Guyana Bar Association, Guyana Association of Women Lawyers, Help and Shelter, Women Across Differences.
“As various civil society organisations serving our members and all Guyanese, we recognize the vital importance of how democracy and good governance are practised by our legislature, our executive and our judiciary and the direct impact on Guyanese citizens. The executive act of prorogation and the resulting suspension of the House of Representatives for possibly the next six months will significantly constrain the functioning of our Parliament and further weaken a vital institution of our Constitution and government,” the statement added.
The Groups said that during this period of political turbulence they are also concerned about whether the affairs of the state will be practiced in a manner that upholds the democratic principles of transparency, accountability, inclusion and representation.
“We call for a swift end to prorogation, and a return to the vital role our legislature plays in the lives of citizens of Guyana, ensuring that fair laws are made, and holding the government to account for its policies, actions, and spending on matters of paramount importance to citizens. We further recognise the urgency of harmonising our Constitution with democratic practices. Moreover, we encourage all parliamentarians to enforce Article 13 of the Constitution more regularly.”
Political leaders were also urged to dedicate their individual and collective efforts to repairing the fragile, weak and ineffective political culture, practice and institutions that have led to this perilous period in our nation’s history; recognizing that it must be effected through a spirit of compromise, dialogue, trust and reconciliation in the interest of the betterment of Guyana and all Guyanese.