If anything can be said about the present environment is that it continues to create undue stress and tension and unnecessary division among the working class. None of this is good for our collective health and the nation’s stability.
The future of Guyana and our youth are at stake. This alone should drive our political leaders to be forward thinking – to recognise that the decisions they make now will be to mutual benefit and relevant in avoiding a similar dilemma as we face today should the issue of a successful confidence vote ever surface again.
This opportunity to get it right must not be squandered, neither must there be a wishing away of realities or the hope some invisible hands will address our challenges. Sadly, even supporters and leading opinion shapers, following the lead of the politicians, are seen engaging in mere political encampment which only serves to widen the gap for meaningful dialogue and relationship.
It is also not helpful where focus is directed to the government, that the parliamentary opposition is not demonstrating any progressive views on the way forward. Our nation is being weakened, and governing cannot be effective if there is anarchy.
My entry into the discussion of the no-confidence vote is informed by the desire not to allow the extremists amongst us to hold sway over society, snuff out the voices of reason and prevent a lawful and orderly manner in resolving differences. While society may have lost some to such thinking, it does not mean society must too, be lost as a consequence of their thinking.
On 11th July, Stabroek News (SN) reported, “The Opposition PPP/C has asked the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to order the APNU+AFC administration to hold elections no later than 18th September and that the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) be selected within 10 days from tomorrow (‘Jagdeo asks CCJ to order elections be held by September 18’).
On 13th July, said media reported the CCJ “declined those requests,” referring to Mr. Jagdeo’s requests above and the Coalition Government’s that the Court “should order government to return to the National Assembly to pass a resolution to extend the time to hold elections and, if this was unsuccessful, that the President dissolve the House and fix a date for the polls.” See, “CCJ dubs gov’t ‘caretaker’ but elections date a no-go.”
The CCJ, in its 12th July written judgement expressly stated, “Article 106 of the Constitution invested the President and the National Assembly (and implicitly in GECOM), responsibilities that impact on the precise timing of the elections which must be held. It would not therefore be right for the Court, by issuance of coercive orders or detailed directives, to presume to instruct these bodies on how they must act and thereby pre-empt the performance of their constitutional responsibilities.”
Refer to item  in the ruling here:-
An election has to be held, based on the ruling the confidence vote was validly passed, but the CCJ was not specific and direct on the date it is to be held. This may help in shedding light on Christopher Ram’s approach to the High Court for a Fixed Date Application to have the 18th September be the deadline by which the election should be held. But until the High Court has so pronounced, it is unfair to society and impugning the integrity of the court, to propagate the impression this was so ordered.
It is a fact the CCJ on 18th June ruled the no-confidence was validly passed. What Mr. Jagdeo and others are doing is applying their interpretation to the ruling in setting the date for election by 18th September, which is three months from the 18th June. Said interpretation also ignores the Court rejected the proposal to set a date and pointed the “political actors” – Messrs. Jagdeo and Granger – to Article 106, which gives them the guide to address the situation and set a date. See item .
Article 106(7) of the Constitution set a timeframe for the election, which is “within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly determined….by not less than two-thirds of the votes….” which the judgment referred to. See items , ,  and . The confidence vote was passed on 21st December 2018.
What is evident is manipulation and distortion of public information by significant individuals, who, having the opportunity to influence this country in a progressive direction, have instead chosen to mislead. It is also noted, sections of the media have accepted the interpretation of a 18th September deadline, are reporting same as a directive of the Court, and alleging that those who don’t move to so abide are violating or aiding the violation of the constitution and ruling.
I’m fully aware taking the position of speaking truth to power brings with it consequences in how others will treat with me. I am immune to being called racist and pushing the PNC agenda by one side and the other side referring to me as a cutthroat. I’m bracing myself for the possibility that in future my freedom of expression in other media houses may be curtailed.
Equally, I’m aware the confusion and division being created on the CCJ’s ruling – if we don’t make a concerted effort to check ourselves – will do more harm than good to the society and our relationship with each other.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
Oct 14, 2019Defending first division women’s champions, Woodpecker Hikers, will be in action tonight at 20:20hrs in the penultimate of six matches against Saints as the curtains open on the 2019 GTT National...
Oct 14, 2019
Oct 14, 2019
Oct 14, 2019
Oct 14, 2019
Oct 14, 2019
I am not a lawyer but I have learnt from my long years in social activism that Eusi Kwayana was as good as any lawyer in... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]