This nation is fast descending to a state of madness by those we have entrusted the responsibility to lead us
1. An illegal government or illegal president cannot make any legal decision;
2. The President in the present circumstance cannot call a date for election unless so authorised by the National Assembly as per Article 106(7) in the Constitution;
3. The “three month” period where the President could have named a date for election without approval of the National Assembly expired in March;
4. Even if the President were to prorogue the House, such prorogation would only be lawful after approval of members of the National Assembly to extend the time when an election can be held;
The David Granger situation is different to that of Donald Ramotar. Ramotar in seeking to avert a no-confidence vote, avoided the House sitting, then moved to prorogation and announced a date for election. In Granger’s case, a vote was allowed and passed, followed by litigation that saw the initial timeframe -i.e. three months- when an election could be held ran out. So, in order for Granger to prorogue the House and announce a date for election, according to the law- i.e. Article 106(7)-the House has to sit and grant him the authority to extend the time for election beyond the “three months.”
5. It should be of interest or serve as a grounding point to recall acting Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire’s SC pronouncement on 2nd August in hearing the Fixed Date Application Case for the holding of an election;
Kaieteur News, 3rd August 2019, in an article titled, ‘Election date long gone- Chief Justice,’ reported that “Based on her understanding of the judgment and consequential orders by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Chief Justice Roxane George yesterday said that the date for general and regional elections, March 21, has long gone. In fact, Justice George noted that ‘we’ are supposedly in a period of an extension for the timeframe for holding elections, but that extension has not been agreed on. We are still waiting on the National Assembly to meet.”
6. The Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) who are refusing to return to the National Assembly and carry out their responsibility are not only engaging in an act of lawlessness but also holding this nation and our system of governance to ransom. It should be noted for such lawless conduct they continue to receive monthly salary as MPs and daily benefits/privileges that come with their office.
Never before has this nation witnessed where the need arises for parliamentary support of the Opposition to give effect to any act, that side of the House has abrogated its responsibility by withholding its vote. For six months and counting the nation continues to be held hostage to this conduct by the very people who are shouting they want the Constitution to be upheld. If they really care about Guyana, knowing that they hold the other part of the equation in their hands, they would return to the National Assembly and do the job they are being paid for.
The continuous media brawl, bullying tactics, constitutional and court misrepresentation remain threats to resolving issues in a lawful and orderly manner, doing more harm than good to the nation and her people. Our laws must be upheld and the seeming support for this new low in lawlessness, by internal and external forces, if not corrected now will haunt this country forever.
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