In the present climate you can’t tell over half of the country’s electorate to shut up!
What is President Ramotar trying to achieve by vowing to deny the will of the majority of the people of Guyana. Personally I find his remarks irresponsible and politically immature. We live in a democracy and the constitution of Guyana allows for three branches of Government with equal powers.
The President must understand that the executive is not all-powerful, but an equal ally in the three-legged stool that we call democracy. It should not be for me or anyone else to be giving this president a civics lesson. As the Executive, yes his party forms the government and gets to set the agenda, but equally as important is the people’s house, the legislature.
This branch of government comprises the people’s representative who acts on behalf of the people. This is the place where the people get heard. This is where laws are enacted or amended. For the president to publicly accuse and disparage the representative of the people petulantly, just because he can’t have his own way, is silly.
Mr. Ramotar must be advised that it is unwise to make remarks which can be interpreted by the majority of the voters in Guyana as him saying your vote doesn’t count. You don’t matter.
Over 50% of the electorate voted for the parliamentary opposition and they voted for change. They gave the Parliament a unique make-up so that the legislature by its powers under the constitution would make laws for the benefit of the people; create good governance by ensuring that there is transparency, fiscal management (therefore their active engagement in the budget process is absolutely necessary).
Mr. Ramotar’s party won a minority of the votes but because of the constitution he was able to form the government and head the Executive branch or provide the administration for the country. But the PPP is so used to autocracy that the President is confused about his role. Yes he has the right to veto bills and yes he has the right to propose an agenda. What is not right is for him to want to be judge, jury and executioner. He cannot usurp the duties and powers of the legislature and if he does, then that other arm of government the judiciary must act.
For the judiciary, which is independent of the two other arms, is responsible for enforcing the laws, interpreting the law and making sure that the other arms of government don’t over-reach beyond their powers granted by the constitution.
Nowhere in the constitution of Guyana is it written that for a bill to be assented to, it must be with the full agreement of the President. If that were so, then why would we even need lawmakers? I don’t know who is advising this chief executive, by my advice to him would be to take a day off and brush up on the constitution, because he is definitely going down the wrong track in this regard. I may be wrong, but in the present climate you cannot tell over half of the country’s electorate to shut up!