[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Private Sector Commission (PSC) after consulting with various Civil Society organizations such as representatives of Labour and Religion has proposed a solution to Guyana’s current parliamentary impasse.
The proposal was sent to President Donald Ramotar, Leader of A Partnership for National Unity, David Granger and Leader of the Alliance For Change, Khemraj Ramjattan.
According to the PSC, there is still room for the life of the 10th Parliament to be preserved once the prorogation comes to an end and the no confidence motion is stayed to make room for a meaningful attempt to dialogue on the important issues that will persist even after elections are held.
The proposal by the PSC is below:
RE: SOLVING THE PARLIAMENTARY IMPASSE
The Private Sector Commission after consulting with various Civil Society organizations such as representatives of Labour and Religion is pleased to propose the following as a solution to our current parliamentary impasse:
- Guyana our beloved country, a land with a people of diverse culture and bestowed with many natural resources, continues to encounter challenges in its path to development as the governance architecture is not effective in equitably meeting the needs of all stakeholders
- Article 13 of the Constitution of Guyana states that: The principal objective of the political system of the state is to establish an inclusionary democracy by providing increasing opportunities for the participation of citizens, and their organizations in the management and decision making processes of the state, with particular emphasis on those areas of decision making that directly affect their wellbeing.
- The 10th Parliament, elected in a free and fair general elections on November 28, 2011, is the first since our independence to be constituted as one where the opposition parties occupy the majority and the Government sits in minority. It must be accepted by all that this is the mandate given by the electorate. This created an opportunity for the needs of both minority and majority stakeholders to be adequately represented and solutions negotiated for the benefit of all the citizens of Guyana. On the contrary, the opportunity is being squandered by standoffs and deadlocks to the detriment of all stakeholders.
- We share the view that there is still room for the life of the 10th Parliament to be preserved once the prorogation comes to an end and the no confidence motion is stayed to make room for a meaningful attempt to dialogue on the important issues that will persist even after elections are held.
- Consultations with political parties have revealed that they are willing to engage in dialogue but the Opposition parties will only agree to participate in dialogue if Parliament is reconvened.
- It is our recommendation that the President considers bringing an end to the prorogation as soon as is practical but no later than December 31, 2014.
- We also recommend that the political parties agree to a moratorium of one month after the end of prorogation to facilitate such dialogue before any consideration is given to the dissolution of Parliament or the passing of the no confidence motion. Such a commitment can be made by signing the attached declaration in Appendix 1.
- We further requests that our representatives of Civil Society be included as observers to any dialogue process agreed upon so that we could be kept meaningfully informed as to the agreements and commitments by all parties in pursuing the interests of those they represent and hold each accountable for the delivery of results.
- In the interest of time and as a show of good faith on all sides during the one month period of moratorium we propose the following agenda for talks within that period:
- The composition and implementation of all outstanding commissions required by the Constitution.
- Agreement on a date for Local Government Elections some time before the life of the 10th Parliament comes to an end.
- Mechanism by which the bills not receiving assent can be resolved.
- Mechanism for approval of 2014 supplementary financial papers and statements of excess.
- An inclusionary mechanism for budget talks of 2015 and 2016. This could be a meaningful start on forming a longer term agreement on Guyana’s Economic Development Agenda.
The above may be sufficient to salvage the life of the 10th Parliament where previous items on the Parliamentary agenda can be resuscitated including the Anti-Money Laundering Bill, the Telecommunications Bill, the Education Bills etc.
Looking forward to your response on these recommendations.
Made on December __, 2014
We the representatives of the Parliamentary Political Parties hereby agree to the following:
- That the prorogation of Parliament will be ended and the work of the National Assembly be reconvened no later than December 31, 2014.
- That a moratorium of one month commencing from January 01, 2015 and ending on January 31, 2015 will be taken to give room for dialogue to be attempted before consideration is given to the dissolution of Parliament or the motion on confidence.
- Representatives of Civil Society will be allowed to observe the dialogue process in full once commenced during this period.
Agreed to by:
H.E. Donald Ramotar
Brig.(rtd) David Granger
Leader of the Opposition
Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan
Leader – Alliance for Change
In the Presence of:
_____________________ _________________ ___________
Private Sector Labour Religion