[www.inewsguyana.com] – The governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has accused Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman of being totally unfamiliar with the political and historical antecedents that led to the suspension of the 1953 Constitution in Guyana.
According to the PPP, if not this, then the Speaker is being intellectually dishonest in trying to juxtapose what happened at that time with the legal and Constitutional action taken by President Ramotar to prorogue Parliament.
On Monday, following the prorogation of Parliament by the President, Speaker Trotman drew a parallel between the suspension of the Constitution by the British Government in 1953 and the recent prorogation of Parliament; saying it is most distasteful now than then.
But according to the PPP, the decision by President Ramotar has absolutely nothing in common with the dispensation which obtained at the time of the suspension of the Constitution.
The Party says the Speaker has his facts wrong and is viewing current realities through the prism of a politically biased and jaundiced mind; adding that the stance taken by him objectively plays up to the Opposition gallery “but certainly cannot advance the political health of the Nation which has been seriously ruptured by the uncompromising and vindictive actions taken by the combined opposition.”
“To begin with, the suspension of the Constitution by the British Government was done mainly because of ideological and geo-political considerations and out of fear that the country was pursuing programmes and policies that were meant to favour the working class and not the monied class. In other words, there was a distinct ideological and class context to the suspension of the Constitution,” PPP explained.
The Party added that the suspension of the Constitution brought to an end the life of the PPP administration which was then replaced by an interim government which for the most part was made up of the very persons who were rejected at the polls in what was the first election to be held under universal adult suffrage.
“A salient point to note is that it was the PPP that successfully waged the struggle for the universalization of the suffrage. The suspension of the Constitution was therefore an aberration of the democratic aspirations of the electorate who voted overwhelmingly for the PPP which won a landslide victory,” the governing Party said in a statement.
PPP said too that the atmosphere at that time was characterized by intimidation and suppression of fundamental human rights including the right of assembly and to engage in protest action.