Even as all Guyana awaited the ruling by the Court of Appeal on the ‘No Confidence Motion’ yesterday, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) took to the streets in protest in almost every administrative region.
As word of the protest spread from region to region, windows and doors were flung open to view the colourful spectacle, as PPP supporters marched through streets, with placards, voicing their opinion that the APNU/AFC Government became illegal as of yesterday.
A major political situation has been ongoing since December 21, when a No Confidence Motion by the Leader of the Opposition was carried in the National Assembly. This was after a parliamentarian for the Coalition Government, Charrandass Persaud, joined with the Opposition to support the motion.
This development was supposed to have triggered elections as catered for under the Constitution of Guyana, to be held within 90 days.
In January this year, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland upheld the passage of the No Confidence Motion resolution, declining a request by Government to reverse the decision. Sometime after Resolution No. 1 was issued (this is a certification by Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs that the No Confidence motion was validly passed by a majority vote). Later that same month, Chief Justice Roxane George ruled that the No Confidence Motion was validly passed in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018, by a majority of all 65 elected members, which she underscored is 33 and not 34 as the Government had insisted.
On Wednesday last Minister of State, Joseph Harmon had written to Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, informing that President David Granger is preparing the date for Regional Elections, and the Opposition in a ‘quick fire response’ had reiterated that this was totally unacceptable, since elections were likely to be held nearer to yearend.
The letter had also suggested that Granger would be likely veering toward what Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson had informed him this week that based on the fact that house-to-house registration will take some time, no elections can be held before late November of this year.
Yesterday, Region # 10 was a hub of activity as PPP supporters took to the streets, loudly proclaiming that the APNU/AFC Government was illegal, even though the Appeal Court at that time was deliberating on the No Confidence Motion.
In Essequibo in the areas of Anna Regina, Charity and their immediate environs, the protests were also very lively.
Corriverton, Berbice residents were not left out of the countrywide upsurge, as they protested in agreement with their PPP sister groups in other locations. In Region # 5, PPP supporters thronged the streets at Fort Wellington, West Coast Berbice and other areas, as they too voiced their pleasure that the APNU Government was still actually in office. It was the same picture at New Amsterdam, Berbice, Region # 6 as protesters filed along peacefully in the streets of the town voicing their opinion that the present Government was illegal.
Residents in Region # 9 also picketed against the ‘illegal and unconstitutional APNU+AFC government’ while supporters of the Opposition came out in their numbers in Bartica, all supporting the said cause. In Georgetown, Region # 4, a large gathering picketed the Ministry of the Presidency, the GECOM Head Office and other areas, led by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and other party members.
Led by PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali, large masses marched along the West Demerara Public Road, and even marched across the Demerara Harbour Bridge to support the stance that the supposed, ‘Illegal Government’ should go.
Similar protests were also reportedly staged in Toronto, Canada, and New York, USA, as supporters overseas fully backed the decision to protest by the PPP. In New York, protesters stationed themselves outside of the Guyana Consulate.
On the PPP Facebook page on Thursday night, supporters were asked to, “Remember, at 12.01 am, let’s all set our Facebook profile photo and cover to all black. Let’s all do the same for Instagram and post a photo there that is simply black.
We will then post the following as a status:
“This is a dark day for Guyana. Our government is now illegal and they have effectively executed a coup d’etat by blatantly violating the Constitution. Our jobs, investments, rights and freedom are now at risk. Ministerial and Presidential decisions and orders are now illegal. Join the protests for our democracy.”
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