President Ramotar slams British Diplomat; Says he’s “totally out of place”

Former President Donald Ramotar.
United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Andrew Ayre
United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Andrew Ayre

[] – President Donald Ramotar declared that he was very surprised at the position taken by the outgoing British High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr Andrew Ayre, over his last November 10 decision to prorogate Guyana’s parliament. He declared that the diplomat had overstepped his mark, and is “totally out of place.”

The High Commissioner recently stated that, “The United Kingdom is increasingly concerned as to what is the basis for the suspension of Parliament and how long it is going to last for.” 

 Answering questions during an interview yesterday, the President said that the High Commissioner is aware that prorogation is within Guyana’s Constitution, and is also part of the practice of parliamentary democracy, derived from the United Kingdom.

President Donald Ramotar.
President Donald Ramotar.

The President said that he noted that there was no response from the British Government when the Canadian Government had taken similar constitutional action on more than one occasion, with the country’s national parliament. He opined that it is a clear case of one standard of judgment for some countries, as against another for others.

He described as very unfortunate, that Ayre should use his position to mislead persons, since whatever had been done in Guyana’s instance had been within its legal and constitutional confines.

President Ramotar also said that he welcomed CARICOM’S recognition that the British envoy’s statements amounted to interference in Guyana’s internal affairs. This is a violation of one of the cardinal principles of international relations.

 President Ramotar during a national address in November had indicated his government’s desire for the National Assembly, in its post-recess sittings, to deliberate and give priority to important matters, “relating to the development of our country and the future of all of our people. I also extended a hand to the Opposition for us to put the nation’s business first rather than political gamesmanship”.

He added that were he to be provided with reasons to believe that the Parliamentary Opposition intended to disrupt Government’s business by forcing a debate on their No Confidence Motion; he resolved to take action immediately by exercising his Constitutional options to either prorogue or dissolve parliament clearing the way for  General Elections to be held.

The Head of State had noted that the Parliamentary Opposition intended to end the life of the 10th Parliament with immediate effect, dashing all hopes for urgent attention to issues relating to economic growth, social services and the holding of Local Government Elections.

The Opposition had tabled a no confidence motion against the Government, and had intended to debate it at the first post-recess sitting slated for November 10. Because the opposition has the one-seat majority, this would have meant that the government was outnumbered, hence the President’s option was to prorogue the Parliament. [Extracted and modified from GINA] 





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