By Kiana Wilburg
General Secretary of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Joseph Harmon, says that President Donald Ramotar
has essentially made “democracy homeless” by suspending the Parliament.
The politician made this comment on Monday, after a session for Opposition Members of Parliament to ventilate on the President’s decision came to an end.
Harmon told Kaieteur News that the Parliament was built on the basis of housing democracy and allowing principles of good governance to reign supreme. He said however that now that the government has chosen to go this route, it has made democracy “homeless”.
In the same breath, Harmon stressed that such a move will not be enough to break the spirits of the people. The APNU General Secretary said the Opposition will take to the streets—the cradle of democracy—and speak with the frustrated citizens who yearn to see the back of the dictatorial People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
“We will have to speak to the people of the streets, in their hearts, wherever they live. What the President feels he has done by shutting us down has actually allowed us to spread our wings even further… anywhere we go will become the Parliament. Wherever we go will become the Parliament of the people,” Harmon stated.
He said too that while the votes of the people do not matter to the government in the National Assembly, it cannot be controlled in the streets, “…and that is something Ramotar and his thieving cabal fail to understand”.
Harmon said that the political opposition will not allow the matter to “die a natural death” and added that he refuses to accept the decision. He emphasized that the people will show the government that they will fight for democracy.
Opposition Leader, David Granger, also stated that he believes the nation has been served a grave insult by President
The APNU Leader said that there is no precedent to be using such a provision in the Constitution to prevent the scrutiny of Ministers and their conduct. He reminded of the fact that the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, was being hauled before the Committee of Privilege for spending millions without parliamentary approval and opined that the government could not stand to face questions about the Minister of Legal Affairs and his alleged inappropriate behaviour in a 19-minute profanity-laced conversation with a Kaieteur News reporter.
Granger deemed government’s latest decision to be “a stupid act” and emphasized that it has only served to bring APNU and the Alliance For Change closer.
The Opposition Leader expressed confidence in the fact that he believes the citizens of Guyana will demonstrate their anger and frustration. He noted, however, that there will be peaceful protests. He added that the protests must continue against the “illegalities taking place in the Office of the President.”
Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman, also added his voice to the issue. He said that the other side, being the government, only wins if the people allow it. He did not agree with Harmon’s comments entirely, that democracy is now homeless.
“If we define ourselves as homeless, then we will indeed be homeless. Now is a good time for the political parties to go to the people in their communities and hold Parliament and meet with the salt of the earth of Guyana.”
Trotman asserted that it is important for politicians at this point to hear the problems of the people and exchange ideas with them on how the best solutions can be had for their difficulties, and even those facing the nation.
Democracy being homeless, he asserted, is a mindset that citizens must not allow to set in at any cost.
“Opportunities abound and we have to seize them,” the House Speaker concluded.
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