By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman says the move by President Donald Ramotar to prorogue the 10th Parliament is most unfortunate and undemocratic; explaining that the power of the elected House of the people’s representatives has been muttered.
Addressing Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House this afternoon, the Speaker said this illegality is compounded by the fact that no date has been given for restoration of normalcy.
President Ramotar, by way of proclamation, suspended the Parliament this morning ahead of a debate on the No Confidence Motion brought against his administration by the Opposition.
Recalling the suspension of Guyana’s Constitution in the 1950s, Trotman says this development is more distasteful; explaining that then it was done by the mother country but now it is being done by our own.
“It has been a long and arduous road that brought us here, a road filled with features of impediments, imperfection, imponderables and even impudent of times. Along the way, we have slipped and slid from the sublime to the ridiculous and even from scandal to threats,” he added.
Trotman echoed the sentiments that today will go down in Guyana’s history as momentous. He said democracy in Guyana will enter into a new orbit and will see Guyana’s Parliament joining the ranks of Parliaments that have passed through fire and turmoil.
“Along the way I have learnt, today a spec tomorrow a hero. Hero or monster you are consumed, like a jig shakes the loom, all involved and all are consumed,” Trotman told the House filled with Opposition MPs and not a single MP from the government side.
The prorogation means that the House cannot proceed with its work until the Head of State decides on a date. But according to Trotman, “the National Assembly remains ready and willing to discharge its mandate as the legislative arm of the two tier Parliament.”
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader David Granger says his Party is enraged at the President’s decision; declaring today “the darkest day for democracy in Guyana.”
“This Proclamation has effectively paralysed the parliamentary process and smothered the voices of the people’s legitimate representatives in the National Assembly. It is an affront to the Guyanese people who three years ago, in November 2011, voted for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) to have the majority of seats in the National Assembly,” Granger said.
He told those gathered that President Ramotar has now, single-handedly, engineered a constitutional crisis. To this end, Granger said APNU will not accept this denial of democracy and will not be intimidated by the government’s dictatorial behaviour.
On a separate note, AFC Executive Moses Nagamootoo said the President is ducking from scrutiny and protecting his “renegade” administration from accounting for the country’s resources.
He said no one can say AFC was unreasonable to bring this motion against the government; recalling the many interventions that were made prior to this point.
He said the government was warned and turned down attempts at negotiations; adding that “with a dagger now at the opposition’s throat” any attempt at dialogue will be futile.
“We will not submit ourselves to this level of bullyism and state terrorism,” Nagamootoo said; adding that “today is a day of infamy and shame.”
The AFC Executive said the government has disrespected the National Assembly and the People of Guyana but warned that this will not daunt their spirit and whenever the House reconvenes the motion will be brought back.