Feb 28, 2013 News Comments Off on Region Four Chairman lambastes Trotman over Rohee gag order ruling
The Chairman of Guyana’s most populous region, Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica), Clement Corlette, has thrown his hat into the ring in the ongoing dispute surrounding the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly to allow Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee the right to speak in the National Assembly.
Yesterday, the Regional Chairman described the Speaker’s ruling as being tantamount to mismanagement of the office of Speaker of Guyana’s Supreme Organ of Democratic power, in an apparent attempt to evade the litigation-prone Attorney General.
The Region Four Democratic Council is controlled by the main opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Corlette has been its Chairman for more than five years.
APNU has already expressed its disappointment with the Speaker’s ruling.
Corlette is of the view that Speaker Raphael Trotman has sacrificed the integrity of the office of Speaker in an effort to appease the Government as the minority. He is trying to mitigate the constant intrusion of the court into the business of the National Assembly at the behest of the Government and by extension the legal arm of the executive, Corlette added.
“As I understand the exercise of Democratic: Power or authority, any motion or policy order made at a lawful sitting of a statutory body is enforceable by the management of the given statutory body. For example, a motion or policy order approved at a statutory meeting or at a special meeting of a Municipal Council, a Regional Council or a Local Government Council is enforceable by the management of the organisation or agency,” he explained.
He said that he finds it difficult to accept that the Speaker of the National assembly is attempting to portray a position that the National Assembly’s rules or standing orders have no provision to enforce a decision by motion or policy order against a member of the National Assembly, moreover, a member of the Government side of the House.
“Mr. Trotman, I believe, exposed his inadequacies of leadership when he revealed that he consulted with officials from other parliaments. He referred to England which was the last of the oppressive masters to have ruled over our people.
“He also mentioned having contacted the Australian Parliament. To obtain information on what obtains in the Parliament of the former colonel power is most retrograde and insulting to the people of Guyana,” Corlette said.
He added that advice from foreign Parliaments cannot assist Guyana because the Guyana National Assembly is fractious and partisan with the PPC/C MPs only displaying arrogance and contempt for the Opposition Members of Parliament.
This, he said, is a clear indication that experience from other Parliaments, particularly the British, will not be relevant to Guyana, since the history of Guyana is different from the history of England.
“The fact that the majority of the Members of Parliament voted to register no confidence in a Minister of the government who exercises a specific portfolio, is an indication that the Minister should no longer be tasked with the responsibility of the portfolio.
“ Moreover, since the Government seats in the National Assembly are less than the Opposition, it is the duty of the Government to work for the respect and co-operation of the opposition to resolve differences,” Corlette stated.
According to him, the government seems resolved to use the High Court as an unsanctioned House of Lords (an upper parliament) in an effort to overrule decisions of the elected National Assembly.
“The Speaker is the Leader and Guardian of the powers and integrity of the Parliament/National Assembly. His ruling on matters of decisions made is pivotal to give substance and to have enforcement pursued. If the Speaker should choose to contradict a decision of the House as made by the majority he would be failing in his duty as Speaker.
The House as it is referred to at times, would be unworthy of the confidence of the general public that elected the members as their representatives,” the Region Four Chairman declared.
“If the National Assembly cannot enforce its motion against Minister Clement Rohee, then the entire rules of Parliament lack substance and empowerment. If that is so the Parliament would be a waste of time and meaningless,” he added.
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