[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) says it rejects, outright, the CARICOM Council of Minsters’ statement on the prorogation of Guyana’s parliament.
The GTUC believes the Council’s response to this situation, “where this nation’s highest decision-making arm, which represents the collective determination of the people has been thrown to the wayside by the PPP administration,” smacks at contempt for the citizens and their institutions.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says it is satisfied that prorogation of Guyana’s Parliament is in keeping with the constitution, based on statements from the Guyana government.
The Community Council of Ministers which is the second highest organ of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), wrapped up its 35th Meeting in Guyana on Friday and in a post meeting statement, the Council said it received an update from the Foreign Minister of Guyana regarding developments in relation to the prorogation of the Parliament of Guyana.
According to the statement, the Ministers from around the region who were gathered at the meeting, recalled that the Government of Guyana had formally advised the Caribbean Community regarding the prorogation and the reason for this course of action.
However, the Union believes CARICOM’s reaction to “this grave matter of national, regional and international import confirms the cynicism of the region’s citizens as to the quality of leadership their governments are prepared to deliver.”
A statement from the Body today noted that “for the ministers to speak about non-interference of and diplomatic proprieties by nations with whom Guyana and CARICOM countries have signed charters, even as they are intimating to Guyanese that we must accept a situation where our elected representatives are denied the opportunity to function in Parliament on our behalf, is hypocritical, self-serving and reeks of double standards.”
The GTUC believes the only reason CARICOM could have issued such a contemptuous statement is to serve as insurance for regional governments in the event they face similar challenge at home to account for their stewardship, they would invoke the Prorogation clause, a feature of Westminster politics, to replicate the repressive conduct.
“The challenge to Guyanese and citizens of the Region is that while our ancestors fought against brutal slavery, indentureship and colonisation, their descendants are prepared to practice the behaviours of former oppressors and expect the people’s consent to the injustices and unfair acts.”
GTUC added that regardless of what programme a government has, the absence of the parliament makes government dysfunctional. “The present repression poses dire implications, one of which can see spontaneous migration to CARICOM countries, where some of the very governments who approved the Government Information Agency-styled (GINA) press statement would reject additional undocumented Guyanese.”
The statement further added that “in the apparent focus to satisfy an immediate self-serving interest, it eluded CARICOM to examine the consequences of the repressive act of proroguing parliament. It was ignored that CARICOM subscribes to the principles that good governance can only be considered when the citizens’ Rights and Freedoms are respected and safeguarded, and all branches of government and constitutional institutions are in place and are allowed to work.”
GTUC surmised that these principles are not only adumbrated in the Commonwealth Charter, they are also ensconced in the CARICOM Charter of Civil Society. “CARICOM can best serve the interest of the Region’s people by speaking and acting in conformity with its Charter of Civil Society.”