“…the constitution in its present form legitimizes the fangs of dictatorship”
The Alliance For Change (AFC) has pledged its full support behind A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) in its charge to press for a new government.
This was made clear by AFC Chairman Nigel Hughes when he appeared on stage at last Friday’s rally at the Square of the Revolution and proclaimed “all legal and responsible political steps must be taken by well thinking Guyanese, supported by our international partners to correct this egregious action and protect the democratic rights of our citizens.”
He was referring to the November 10th Proclamation by President, Donald Ramotar, to Prorogue the 10th Parliament.
Hughes, who was welcomed by the large crowd of predominantly APNU supporters, declared that the AFC will be unwavering in its commitment to holding the Government to account, correcting the unauthorized practices of the administration and undoing the undemocratic actions while safeguarding the rights of the people’s elected representatives.
The AFC Chairman reminded that the National Assembly is the highest and principal forum in which the people’s business is discussed and agreed and that the President has unilaterally shut this down and has by his actions revealed his anti-democratic credentials.
According to Hughes, a practicing Attorney-at-Law—who the former President vowed will never be promoted to the rank of Senior Counsel—the Parliament must be reconvened and allowed to function without artificial restrictions and or encumbrances.
He is adamant that the President’s spurious excuse that the country requires a cooling down period is pure rubbish, adding that “the issues were in the public domain for the past six months without any invitation from the President to the joint opposition…This reveals the real lack of sincerity of the President’s actions.”
Hughes also reminded that the Joint Opposition has resolved that there will be no extra Parliamentary engagement with the President on the matters which were before the National Assembly.
Hughes also used the opportunity to remind that “during the period of prorogation, only expenditures permitted by the constitution during a period of dissolution will be accepted and we will be watching carefully to protect our treasury.”
He was unwavering in his declaration that during the current impasse, the country is at significant risk as a result of the absence of oversight by Parliament in national matters, inclusive of Financial Expenditure and contracting, Bilateral Obligations and National Security.
“This situation recognizes that time is of the essence and timely, decisive, united action is necessary if we are to avert long-term and or permanent damage to the Guyanese society, which is already under severe stress due to the failures of the current administration.”
The AFC Chairman stated that his party will be alerting the international community, foreign missions and international and domestic business community that any contract, other than contracts for the supply of essential goods and services, entered into by the current administration during the period of prorogation will be subject to review and possible rescission upon the election of a new administration.
“The AFC is further calling on the international community to come the assistance of Guyana by engaging all political parties and civil society in formal structure public dialogue on the restoration of normalcy in the governance of the country,” said Hughes.
He further argued that this can best be achieved by the international partners assisting by hosting mediation sessions with all stakeholders at the table in an effort to arrive at an acceptable and creditable way forward out of the current crisis.
According to Hughes, “if no other time in the history of Guyana that it is demonstratively plain that the current constitutional arrangement is one of the biggest blight to unity, good governance and economic prosperity, it is now.”
The AFC Chairman in a passionate entreaty to the Guyanese people said “History, our children and our future scream in deafening decibels for courageous souls to confront, dismantle and obliterate this albatross around our neck. It’s time to get this monkey off our back.”
According to Hughes “Fundamentally our real enemy is the constitution in its present form that legitimizes the fangs of dictatorship that is sucking the life blood out of the soul of Guyana and finds opportunistic co-conspirators.”
The always articulate Hughes implored too that “We are at a most important juncture in the life and development of our nation where we have no other choice but to reform. This has to be the end game; it has to be the last straw. Something has to give. This cannot be the future we hand to our children. This cannot be this generation’s legacy to our nation.”
According to Hughes, “Constitutional change is the only way to stop this vicious cycle. Guyanese from all walks of life who truly love our country and want to save it from destruction along with international NGOs, international governance structures like the OAS, and UN, foreign Governments and our Caribbean neighbours, must come together in a quick march down the road of constitutional reform or we will be locked into the ever deteriorating cycle of abuse and lack of accountability by those we elect to serve us.”
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