[www.inewsguyana.com] – Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman has challenged the President’s move to reconvene the House following the Parliamentary recess which ended on October 10; saying His Excellency has no constitutional power to do so.
Trotman acknowledged that President Donald Ramotar has the power under Articles 69 and 70 to convene the National Assembly but only following a general election or a prorogation of the Parliament and not after a recess has ended.
“The annual recess that runs from August 10 – October 10 is not to be confused with a prorogation or suspension of the Parliament. Therefore, as Speaker of the National Assembly I continue to insist that it was beyond the scope of the President’s constitutional authority to set a date for the House to resume sittings after the recess,” the Speaker said in a statement this morning, Wednesday, November 05.
He reminded that the President is not a member of the National Assembly and so any pronouncements on the sittings should have been issued and articulated by the Prime Minister who is supposed to be the Leader of Government’s business in the House.
“What has not been the practice and tradition is for the President to announce when the House will resume sittings after the annual recess,” he added.
The Speaker believes the very manner of His Excellency’s announcement that the date of the “first post- recess sitting” will be Monday, November 10, clearly demonstrates that once again he has been wrongfully advised into believing that the National Assembly is subordinate to the Executive, and can dictate to it when it can meet and cannot meet, and even what it should discuss and debate.
“This is as frightening as it is tragic as it clearly demonstrates that there is not even the basic of understandings, by those who advise the President, of the three branches of Government – Executive, Legislative and Judicial, and the hallowed doctrine of the separation of powers.”
Trotman says this development does not augur well for Guyana. Last evening, in an address to the nation, President Ramotar announced that the first sitting will be on November 10.
This morning, all Parliamentarians received notices from the Clerk of the House which confirmed the sitting.