first_imgDear Editor,The Constitution is the fundamental law of a state that sets up the structure of Government, usually what citizenship is, and what rights they have. Its role in a free country is to provide scope for good Government, while at the same time placing limitations on the powers or excesses of the governors. The Constitution is supreme of all legislation and is, therefore, instructive of changes or adjustment to all other laws to meet its intent with fluidity.In context, there are many obvious implications for our citizens and the country at large. This is in light of the numerous early signals of intent by the Government, to violate enshrined provisions and instructive rulings of our Constitution following the recently debated and passed No-Confidence Motion.Prior to and during the debate, we witnessed arguments by Government Parliamentarians in favor of the 33 votes as a majority and their subsequent complete U-turn when they were defeated by the same amount. The positions pronounced on and accepted in our Parliament by the Prime Minister in the National Assembly suddenly changed. The emergence of complicit shallow reversals, therefore, is actually calculated to stifle our democracy.Numerous publicly recognised and high credential civil institutions have vociferously rejected the diabolical notion now being advanced by the APNU/AFC. Most citizens are obviously strongly committed to disallowing this abusive disposition, and are calling, along with the International Community, for the Government to do the right thing and resign. Guyana must not become a Police State!The APNU/AFC Government’s initial hesitancy and unwillingness of resignation, touts a flagrant violation of Section 106 of the Guyana Constitution. This behavior and the recent Government’s intimated move to ask the Courts to extend the constitutionally instructive 90-day period for mandatory elections is outright illegal and abusive.Obviously, it begs explanations as to how a court can legitimately allow a Cabinet to stay in Office when the Constitution, a superior instrument to all other laws by which the Courts are bound, says that there shall be a resignation. There is acknowledgement, however, that the implied nature of resignation within the constitutional text is futuristic regarding the Cabinet and the President. The former with appropriate speed and the latter on the swearing in of the President following new elections.While it is not expected that the state will be without governance during the incumbent period, it implies other than National Security and maintaining Law and Order, no major decisions that would bind a future government must be undertaken. Although not specifically pronounced on in the Constitution, such circumstance rationally indicates a caretaker mode for which there is numerous strong precedence. In the least, the APNU/AFC’s clear commitment to abide with these provisions should have been frontal.The fact that the Attorney General (AG) indicated his intent to file a request for an extension of the constitutional period of resignation in the Courts, signals anything but compliance. The AG ought to have been aware that such a request of the Courts is outside its jurisdiction, since the period stipulated by Section 106 cannot be changed by this method. In fact, the Constitution itself sets out the conditions for its own altering and activation following assent by the President. Section 164 (1) Informs of changes to the possible No-Confidence provisions instructed by Section 106. It states:“Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3), a Bill for an Act of Parliament to alter this Constitution shall not be passed by the National Assembly unless it is supported at the final voting in the Assembly by the votes of a majority of all the elected members of the Assembly.”Today, no amount of procrastination can save the fallen coalition Government from facing the nation at an election following the historic debate and the Speaker’s ruling on the No-Confidence motion in the National Assembly. The Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo and President David Granger accepted that their Government had fallen following the ruling; and National and Regional Elections are due in ninety days from December 21, 2018, unless another period is agreed upon with the Opposition leader.The Opposition Leader, in a very suave and tactically diplomatic approach had opened the doors for appropriate discussions with the Government in national interest. There was perhaps, too long a delay for the engagement as the APNU/AFC seemed to be weighing options they did not have, given the conflicting negative releases in the public media and from the Office of the AG.Notably, the recent meeting between President Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, was addressed with a manner of maturity and exemplifies a positive approach of dealing with the broad national concern. Although there appears to be a partially variant view of some issues, it concluded a definitive position with regards to General and Regional Elections which must be held at the earliest; subject to the readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).The news emerging from GECOM is significantly worrisome and sad; indicating that the aged pensioner and ailing Chairman, Justice Ret’d James Patterson has been unwell for some time. No meetings of the Commission were convened during the period of his reported illness, which is now approaching five weeks and is a matter of concern given the appropriate speed that the matter should be dealt with constitutionally.Notwithstanding, GECOM had announced after December 21, 2018, that the organisation was ready to conduct the General and Regional Elections if called upon. It is also notable that the current List of Electors is valid until April 2019 which means that we must get ready for General and Regional Elections in March or early April this year.There must be no unnecessary delays. It was reported that the Chairman was at the Office on Monday, and he was advised by persons from the PNC to stay home and draw-down his millions. Suddenly we are told that he is not well and he is on two weeks leave. This hypocrisy and delaying tactic cannot work. We look forward in observation of the steps that will be taken to remedy this looming tactical misnomer, and urge the observation of the international community and all citizens.Yours Truly,Neil Kumarlast_img

There must be no unnecessary delays in hosting of elections

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