[www.inewsguyana.com] – British High Commissioner to Guyana H.E Andrew Ayre has reminded President Donald Ramotar of the Commonwealth Charter which Guyana has signed onto; reasoning that the country is currently in breach of the agreement under the current state of parliamentary prorogation.
The outgoing British Ambassador reminded that parliamentary democracy was not only a requirement under the Guyana Constitution but also the Commonwealth Charter; urging the Guyanese Head of State to resume Parliament earliest lest likely sanctions be imposed on the developing nation.
Ayre told reporters during a press conference this morning (Monday, January 12), that the prorogation of Guyana’s Parliament “was a dangerous path… a functioning democracy matters not just to fulfill the obligations of the constitution, charters or declarations. It matters because development depends on it.”
President Ramotar prorogued Guyana’s Parliament on November 10, 2014; saying it was to facilitate dialogue between the Executive and the Parliamentary Opposition. On the same day he prorogued Parliament the opposition had signaled its intention to commence debate on a No – Confidence Motion it had brought against the administration.
To this end, Ayre observed that two months after the prorogation there remains no path towards it resumption. “The United Kingdom is increasing concerned as to what is the basis for the suspension of Parliament and how long it is going to last for, he said; adding that “without a Parliament, there is no Parliamentary oversight of development systems or anything else, and so clearly the appetite to send money to a country which has no parliamentary oversight is much reduced.”
He reminded of the suspension of Fiji from the Commonwealth for similar breaches and Zimbabwee which remains outside the Commonwealth; pointing out that if the current situation persists, Guyana can be subjected to a critical review.
Ayre said the prorogation of Guyana’s Parliament was not just a domestic matter as he reminded of the investments the UK has made towards development here along with its business investments.
To this end, he made it clear that the UK was losing its “appetite” to send developmental aid to Guyana. “Against the background of our doubts about the process that is taking place here, there is a reluctance to send development funds. Of course there is. How can we even justify that to our own tax payers?”
He added that Guyana remains a country of potential and would caution British investors to consider the risk when investing, particularly during this period of prorogation where the risks have increased.
High Commissioner Ayre said the risk of being accused of meddling in domestic affairs does not worry him; adding that his government’s concerns were made known to the Guyana government both in private and public.
In wake of Ramotar’s promise to hold elections this year, the High Commissioner said the UK stands ready to assist Guyana in the electoral process. Ayre called on the Guyana government to “get on with it.” He said the UK cannot solve the problem even if it wanted to.