Letter: Punitive sanctions must follow the attempted stealing of the Mace

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Dear Editor,

For elucidation on the sacrosanctity of the Mace in Guyana’s Parliament, the following may cast some insight on why Annette Ferguson’s attempt to steal the Mace was a criminal act worthy of jail time.

The Mace is to the National Assembly what Guyana’s flag is to our country, and the Opposition’s sacrilegious disrespect of what Minister Indar likened to “the Holy Grail” is tantamount to the dishonour of our national pride when the PNC draped our Golden Arrowhead over the coffin of known criminal Linden (Blackie) London.

Both actions are equally heinous, as they dishonour the symbols of our national identity and pride.

A Mace, once used as a weapon, is currently used for ceremonial purposes – a symbol of authority in Commonwealth Parliaments: A ceremonial Mace was used for the first time on 10th September 1957.

When Guyana became a Republic on 23rd February 1970, the head of the Mace, which depicted British Royal Arms, was replaced with Guyana’s Coat of Arms. The stem also includes the representation of a rice plant in full bearing and a sugar cane in blossom, representing two of Guyana’s principal products.

On entering and leaving the Parliament Chamber, the Speaker is preceded by the Sergeant-at-Arms bearing the Mace on his right shoulder.

When the National Assembly is in session, the Mace is placed on the Clerk’s table with its head pointing towards the Government side of the Chamber.

When the Assembly meets as a Committee of the Whole Assembly, the Mace is placed below the Clerk’s table.

When the Mace lies upon the table, the House is in session; when under, it is a Committee; When out of the House, no business can be done; The staffer who tried to protect the Mace from coalition thugs in Parliament at the risk of his personal safety exhibited patriotism and more responsible behaviour than those who are supposed to be “honourable” lawmakers, but who conversely habitually disregard Guyana’s constitutional diktats and descend into the realms of thuggish, anarchical behaviour.

For his pains, the staff member was called a “house negro” by opposition MP Maureen Philadelphia.

One hopes that punitive consequences would eventuate from the criminal actions that transpired in Parliament yesterday, and the racist slur that was hurled at the courageous young defender of Parliament’s glory.

Yours truly,
Adron Pires