EYEWITNESS: Unchartered territory…

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…after no-confidence affirmed

What to do now that the Speaker has refused to reverse his ruling that 33 votes constitute a majority in a 65-member Assembly – and as such, the PPP’s no-confidence motion was carried? As the Speaker affirmed, the Constitution provides the guiding light – and it’s a very bright light.

While he suggested that the Government may go to the courts if they disagreed with his ruling – in the meantime, the Government has to do what the Constitution says until the court says otherwise.

And what does the Constitution say? Article 106 (6) demands the CABINET resign immediately and schedule elections within 90 days but 106 (7) says the GOVERNMENT will continue until the results of the elections are in. Is there a contradiction here? No!! The Cabinet is the President and the Ministers, but the Government includes the National Assembly, where the Ministers are all present as MPs. In your Eyewitness’s view – which he proffered the moment the Charrandas yes-vote was cast – it’s up to the two parties in Parliament to run the country’s affairs, since there’s no Cabinet.

For sure, the APNU/AFC MPs can’t go on as if the No-confidence Motion didn’t become a BINDING resolution!! That would make a mockery of Article 106 (6)! But that’s exactly what the PNC and its handmaiden the AFC intends to do – as was evidenced immediately after the Speaker reaffirmed his no-confidence ruling! They rushed through the “Natural Resources Fund Bill 2018” – to which the word “controversial” sticks like a cheap suit – since the Opposition and a host of commentators, including the President’s previous Energy Advisor, Jan Mangal, raised trenchant objections.

Now this Bill caters for funds from oil production which starts in 2020 and is thus the most significant piece of legislation which absolutely demands its widest acceptance. As it is, the “Public Accountability Oversight Committee” – as catered for in the Bill – will be the Finance Minister’s boy toy. The decision by the President to schedule a meeting with the Opposition Leader on January 9 is a welcome sign but your Eyewitness hopes it isn’t a replica of the five-minute one where Granger simply informed Jagdeo of his unilateral choice of Patterson as his GECOM chair.

The Speaker, to his credit, implicitly chastised the Government MPs when he told them he’d assumed consultations on the way forward between them and the Opposition would’ve already taken place to steer the ship of State in the present unchartered waters.

Unfortunately, because the President was away, his mice preferred to play (hardball) – to the detriment of Guyana.

Let’s hope the President reins them in and includes the Opposition in Governance till the elections are over!!

…for AFC

The AFC is in a fix because Charrandas Persaud’s “mout’ open and story jump out” when he released an email issued by party leader Raphael Trotman the day before the LGE!!

Said the man who’d negotiated his private “Nassau Accord” with Granger: “…without knowing the results of the LGE, I believe we know enough to say the AFC has undoubtedly received a “bounce” from this campaign,” And that the “PNC was weakened” so they could make demands on it!!

Well…the AFC received a “bounce” all right in the LGE – they were bounced out of the credibility sweepstakes to make demands on the PNC. They were revealed to be a four per cent party – from their high of 11 per cent and shrinking fast!! They now have to explain to the PNCites – who’d bitterly resented the 40 per cent of Cabinet they’d been given after 2015 – why they should be even given the time of the day!!

Especially since it was an AFCite who brought them down!!

…for the coalition

Anticipating the Speakers’ refusal to reverse his ruling, there wasn’t a single AFC yellow shirt among the wall of APNU green in front of Parliament. Scared sh*tless of being beaten to a pulp!!

They might’ve been placated, however, when old-line PNCite Barbara Pilgrim replaced AFC’s Charrandas Persaud.

 

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