The most nonsensical scene in the history of the world
Have you asked yourself what is the basis of Mr. Ramotar’s presidency? Or what legitimacy Ashni Singh had in presenting the budget? In other words why should Guyanese recognize the Ramotar presidency and the right of Ashni Singh to be Minister of Finance? Why shouldn’t the citizenry make Carl Greenidge the Finance Minister?
The answer to that question was provided by President Ramotar and Singh themselves. When the AFC and APNU requested to be part of the composition of the budget, both Ramotar and Singh said that it was the constitutional prerogative of the Government to craft the budget. The President and the Finance Minister were citing law. The legitimacy of the Ramotar presidency and Ashni Singh’s Ministry reside in law.
The presidency was arrived at after an election in which voters chose Mr. Ramotar over his contenders. Mr. Ramotar’s party won a plurality of votes that is why that party formed the Government. That party then decides who head the Georgetown Public Hospital, the Bank of Guyana etc. That party has the legal power to make these appointments because (at the expense of repeating myself) it won more votes than other individual contestants in an election.
Should people overthrow an elected government? The automatic response is that it would be illegal to do so since the government was legally elected. Contest the election and beat them would be the response you will get. By some strange, contorted logic, the ruling party in Guyana which defends its physical validity in legal terms seems reluctant to recognize the legal fulcrum of the opposition.
This is dangerous thinking because if you don’t accept the validity of your adversary why should your opponent offer recognition to you?
The total posture and the complete attitude of the ruling party since the poll results of 2011 towards the joint opposition is that it does not recognize the election basis of the opposition majority in the Guyana Parliament. To put it in the most hackneyed way – this is total madness. The President has popular power through a vote. The opposition has a parliamentary majority through a vote.
It was the most nonsensical scene since the world began to witness President Ramotar on Friday evening lambasting a parliamentary majority as if that group (of legally elected Parliamentarians) was a fringe element bent on overthrowing a constitutionally elected government.
If one came from another planet in the universe since the 10th Parliament has convened, one would think that the PPP was duly elected to serve and that its opponents are a bunch of rogue elements. Everything points to that description of which the ugliest dimension of the scene is one in which the ruling party tells its competitors across the floor in the House that it must do what the ruling party says because the ruling party was elected.
It is no exaggeration to say that a dangerous virus has taken over the collective psychology of the PPP where it cannot see much less understand that there was an election that it lost in terms of the second most important pillar (some would say the most and put the judiciary second) in a country – the Legislature
In the psychology of the collective minds in Freedom House, the PPP is in charge and runs the Government because they were voted into office. But the AFC and APNU were voted into Parliament and when their strength is combined they dominate Parliament in the way the PPP dominate the Executive branch of Government. If the PPP continues to behave as if the power of the 10th Parliament does not derive from the sovereign will of the population then it is courting danger.
Fringe elements and extremists can argue that you have a ruling party that does not recognize the votes of the people therefore why should they accept the voter basis of the PPP’s power.
The most nonsensical scene in the history of the world did not take place only last Friday evening, it is going on right now. The Parliament has to give money to NCN because the Executive says that must be done. The Parliament has to give money to the Ethnic Relations Commission because the Executive says so. And why is this so? Because the Executive is a legitimate authority in Guyana.
It contested a general election and won and therefore has constitution authority to govern by some weird logic, the APNU and AFC are extremist wayside preachers who came out of the jungle looking to steal the government for itself. And we must always remember, it is a government that was duly elected.