THE OPPOSITION IS NOT IN DISARRAY
After last night’s vote in the National Assembly, the Guyanese people should be in little doubt as to the position of the combined opposition.
They have exposed themselves as not knowing what they are about, being unmindful of their expected role, not being able to maintain a consistent line of argument and with a penchant for placing the interests of the Guyanese people second to that of exercising political power.
The government must now understand the danger that is facing this country because of the lack of a principled opposition. They must not try to mend fences with the combined opposition. The government should also stop being drawn into constant dialogue with them and most certainly must now put together an effective public relations team to expose the opposition’s anti-nationalist positions.
The government has a matter before the Courts concerning the Budget cuts and it should focus a great deal of attention on obtaining external legal help to support the Attorney General in prosecuting this case.
The government should leave nothing to chance, because they are dealing with a sinister opposition which can no longer be trusted and which must be exposed as being up to no good. As such they should bolster the legal representation in the case before the Court. The government cannot leave the arguing of this most important case solely to the Attorney General.
He needs help to take on a case of this magnitude and the government should invite representation from senior counsel in the United Kingdom. Important constitutional issues are at stake and the government cannot afford to be complacent with this matter as the ruling party was with the elections which it presumed it would have won by a landslide.
Last evening’s vote in the National Assembly is the final nail in the coffin of a national unity government. No one can now logically expect that the reasonable can sit with the unreasonable and achieve any progress.
The opposition does not understand that the budgetary process is not an exact science. And therefore they cannot appreciate that there will always be unforeseen, unplanned and under- and over-estimated provisions in any Budget.
But the government has placed itself in a most awkward position by bringing these Bills to debate, especially considering that a matter is before the Courts, in which the government is arguing a line that can have implications for supplementary provisions.
The government must also not expect any consistency from the opposition. Neither must they assume that the opposition is in disarray. The opposition is not in disarray. The opposition is simply is using its one-seat majority to demonstrate its power drunkenness and to make the government look bad.
The government should feel no regret that the financial paper was not subjected to approval. It did its part by bringing it to the House. Once the government is convinced that the spending was done in compliance with the law, then the failure of parliament to approve the Bills cannot be laid at the feet of the government. There will be no constitutional crisis over this non-approval and the work of government will not be affected.
The actions of the opposition in the National Assembly is holding the nation up to ridicule, and therefore it is only right and proper that since the courts are the guardians of the Constitution and the upholders of the law that the government should resort, where necessary, to the Courts for redress.
This will make our constitutional democracy stronger, even if there is an opposition that with each sitting is raising serious concerns about their ability to understand and appreciate their responsibilities.
What is even clearer is the fact that the government and the opposition stand at two extremes and there can be no more rapprochement between the two sides. The government must therefore begin to get serious with this opposition and stop trying to bend over to reach agreement with them.
It should now signal the end of the tripartite process. It should now signal that local government elections are going to be held under the old laws, whether the opposition likes it or not. It should now signal that just as how the opposition can bring motions to remove the status of Budget agencies from the service commissions, the government can do the same for the Guyana Elections Commission.
It is time for the government to get down to the business of running this country without the input of the opposition. The opposition has demonstrated that it has no useful role to play in the affairs of the nation and should not be invited to any more meetings, because they can no longer be trusted to act in the interest of the nation.
It is time for Guyana to move on, without the combined opposition on board.