In light of the worrying gridlock and mounting tension between the government and the opposition over the prorogation
of the Parliament by President Donald Ramotar, House Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman wrote Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma appealing for a delegation to visit Guyana to intervene in the distressing circumstances.
President Donald Ramotar at his press conference yesterday said that while he is not opposed to this move by the House Speaker, he believes that the country should be given the opportunity to handle its internal matters.
However, Trotman in his letter to the Commonwealth Secretary General said that while the Guyana Constitution gives the President the authority to prorogue the Parliament, he firmly believes that the framers of the Constitution could never have intended that such authority be used arbitrarily, or as a shield by a minority Government against the majority of the elected Members of Parliament.
Trotman sought to inform Sharma that Article 106 (6) of the Guyana Constitution clearly and unambiguously states that the Government shall resign if a majority of the elected members of the National Assembly vote in favour of a No Confidence Motion.
In anticipation of such a vote, the Speaker explained that the actions of the President have neutered the elected House of Representatives, and more worrying is that with the prorogation of the Parliament, Ramotar has not named a date for the resumption of sittings of the National Assembly.
Trotman said in his letter that this is a violation of the spirit of the Constitution, as it allows the Executive the unbridled ability to frustrate and prevent the work of the National Assembly.
At present, he informed Sharma that there is grid-lock as the majority of Members of the National Assembly are indicating that there will be no dialogue with the Executive unless or until there is revocation of the prorogation and a resumption of sittings of the National Assembly. On the other hand, he mentioned that the President has indicated publicly that he is prepared to re-convene the Parliament if accommodations could be arrived at, presumably after dialogue.
Trotman concluded that the Guyana Parliament, as a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, urges the good use of its offices, together with the entire weight of the Association, to intervene so that there can be a return to normalcy.
“To this end, I invite you to send a delegation to Guyana to engage all sides of this disagreement so that this unhealthy situation may be brought to a speedy and peaceful end,” he added.
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