By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – General Secretary of the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Clement Rohee has rejected recent calls by the political opposition for a new Guyana constitution; saying his Party is at complete odds with the suggestion.
Rohee said the PPP has taken this position particularly since Guyana’s constitution was reformed 13 years ago.
“Constitutions are not to be tampered with, ransacked or subjected to open heart surgery whimsically or maliciously because of political disagreement on issues of governance or the powers of a Head of State,” he told Reporters at a press conference at Freedom House, Georgetown this morning.
He said the PPP has taken note of recent public utterances which he described as erroneous and unsubstantiated; rejecting assertions that Guyana’s current constitution is backward.
“It is a slap in the face of Guyanese and their representative organizations… all of who spent countless hours to put together a constitution that is acceptable to all stakeholders,” he added.
He said unlike the 1980 constitution, “which was an imposition by the then PNC regime”, the present 2001 constitution benefited from a series of nationwide consultations between 1991 – 2001; adding that Guyana boasts one the most advanced constitutions in the region “which is a far cry from what was described as a messy and horrible constitution.”
Rohee in responding to a question said “let’s face it there is no perfect constitution in the world.” He said the constitution is a very sacred document and should not be “ransacked” because of difference in political views.
Since the prorogation of Guyana’s Parliament by President Donald Ramotar, calls have been mounted for constitutional reform.
Even business mogul, Dr. Yesu Persaud recently spoke of the urgent need for constitutional changes, particularly the powers vested in the Executive.
The two parliamentary opposition parties have made similar calls with the AFC putting forward a proposal in this regard.
Opposition Leader, David Granger believes that considering the political state of the country, it is also important to examine other parts of the Constitution and not just the powers of the President.
The Leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is reported to have said that as far as Constitutional Reform is concerned, it has become a very popular topic nowadays, but “we need to move away from beer garden talk and find out from the people what reforms they would want to see.”