By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is of the view that Parliamentarians should not be paid their monthly salary, due to disagreements between political leaders, which has hindered the reconvening of the National Assembly.
Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs recently turned down House Speaker Raphael Trotman’s request for him to convene a sitting of the House on November 06.
Vice President of the GTUC, Norris Witter told a news conference today, Friday, October 31 that the National Assembly should be convened soon, since it is being used as a weapon to defend the collusion and rascality of some elected members.
“And where the Assembly fails to return to work, the Parliamentarians ought not to be paid, since every employee, be she/he in the public service or private sector who refuses to report for duty will not be paid, and we cannot have two different standards in the same society. Our elected representatives must lead by example,” Witter said.
The Trades Union said while arguments continues to be put forward by some political figures and to why a date has not been set, the position of the GTUC stands.
“Our views take into consideration the will of the people and basic work rules. The operatives can argue, be the Speaker, the Clerk of the Assembly, the Chief Whips, the President, the Leader of the Opposition and political parties, as to whom have the responsibility to reconvene Parliament, they will of the people will have to be taken into consideration for they have elected 65 members to the National Assembly and we expect them to turn up there and work in our interest.”
The Clerk’s refusal to set a date was conveyed in a letter to the Speaker and he told iNews recently that his refusal was based his earlier argument that only the government can reconvene the House under the current circumstances.
He said he sought advice from several of his CARICOM colleagues, who all told him that it was the government’s duty to name a date for a sitting under these specific circumstances where the parliamentary recess has just ended and the House was adjourned to no specific date.
The Speaker has since issued a public statement registering his disagreement with the Clerk’s interpretation.
He believes the decision of the Clerk not to convene the sitting has the effect of crippling the ability of the Members of Parliament to meet which in itself brings the Constitution into derision and disregard.
Meanwhile, Government’s Spokesman Dr. Roger Luncheon said a date will be set soon by Government for the next sitting, adding that this delay is not historical and on many occasions Parliament was reconvened in November, however, the Opposition believes this is a tactic to delay the moving of the No Confidence Motion against the Government that could see snap elections being called.