66 days of night
It has been sixty six days since the November general elections produced a historic election. If we had a typical British Commonwealth constitution, David Granger would have been the President of Guyana and Khemraj Ramjattan would become the Prime Minister. Such a constitution allows for parliamentary parties to form a coalition government. In the founding nation of the British Commonwealth, the UK, this is what happened. There is a coalition administration in Great Britain
The Guyanese Constitution has moved vastly away from what Britain handed down to us at Independence. Strangely and most mockingly, there is a constitutional provision that prevents parties from coming together to control the Executive office. Despite this strange constitution of ours, a historic occasion came into being after the November general elections. The combined opposition won a majority of votes therefore is in control of the National Assembly. But 66 days after a historic day, the Executive makes its decision, things remain as what they were and the nation is waiting to see when the National Assembly is going to stop the Executive office not from governing but from abusing the power of the Executive
In the brand new, never before seen configuration in Guyana, the Executive will demand its right to govern. And it has been governing. Its insistence of drafting the budget as the prerogative of the Executive has been graphically transmitted to the opposition parties. This strong stand came about when the opposition said it wanted to participate in crafting the budget. But there is a huge but. But does governing mean that state resources must be used in the most abusive ways? And if that is happening, should the Parliament allow it? But where is Parliament after 66 days since November 28
The obvious manifestation of this state abuse is the shape of the state media after November 28. The Chronicle and NCN remain identical, I repeat, Identical after November 28. The type of journalism that went into the Chronicle and NCN before November 28 is continuing as if there is no new horizon in Guyana. Surely, after 66 days of the new landscape, there should have been a new journalism in the Chronicle and NCN
The vicious subjective attacks on PPP/C critics dominate the pages of the Chronicle since November 28. The daily outpouring of paid writers using fictitious names have not changed.
Let’s provide an example. Since the crisis began at the University of Guyana nearing two weeks now, it has been blanked out by the Chronicle with only one item and that is a most scandalous news item on me that has been published as news, not commentary
We can move over to NCN. State television has ignored all the events in the UG crisis since trouble broke out at UG. Then yesterday, four PPP bigwigs on the UG Council issued a statement on their part in my dismissal. This was one of the lead items on NCN news yesterday. Not even a line on the opposite spectrum has been carried by NCN since the issue came into the eyes of the public
Of course, the Executive office is moving on with its functions. A three man team has been appointed to review the tax laws and tax structure of the country. The opposition cried foul. It said it should have been consulted. The Executive office has refused to sign a CARICOM Secretariat brokered peace blueprint that would have ensured a harmonious relationship between the Guyana Cricket Board and the Government-imposed IMC headed by cricket icon, Clive Lloyd. The Executive office never thought of consulting the other supreme organ of state – the Parliament. But the Parliament is not in session.
In fact, 66 days after a birth of a new horizon, there is no substantial meeting of Parliament. There are those of course who would say that in one of the world’s greatest democracies, the USA, governance moves slowly. A Bill has to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. When there are differences between two chambers, they have to meet to seek compromise. So democracy is a long process in the US.
Guyana, however, is not an enduring democracy. In fact it has never been a democracy. In Guyana people crave justice. After 66 days of history unfolding, they are yet to receive it in any substantial way. What happens next is anyone’s guess. What we do know for sure is that the Executive branch of the State will rule and make its decisions. If some of those decisions (as in my UG dismissal) violate justice, then 66 days of night may become endless nights