Apr 12, 2020 News
…Ministers stopped operating since elections day – attorney-at-law Datadin
Despite the March 2, 2020 election, after which there should be no ministers operating until a new government is sworn, it appears that nothing has changed.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo made it clear that his services have not been dispensed with and he was appointed as head of the National Task Force on COVID-19.
He is continued to be referred to as the Prime Minister with Volda Lawrence also still holding on to her title of Minister of Public Health.
She has been holding regular press conferences to update the nation about the local COVID-19 situation.
But the issue of the Ministers still holding their positions has sparked legal questions by attorney-at-law Sanjeev Datadin.
Datadin, a candidate also for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), made it clear that the there could have been no ministers after March 2.
The only man standing after elections day would have been President David Granger, who is holding on until the swearing in of a president, in keeping with the Constitution.
There have been questions by the Opposition and one viewer of a live press conference for COVID-19 yesterday asking pointedly if there was a Prime Minister.
According to Nagamootoo, he has been appointed by the Executive President of Guyana and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, David Granger.
“He is the leader constitutionally of this country, and if he appoints me, he is the only one who could disappoint me. I am not aware that he has dispensed with the service of the Prime Minister of the Cooperative of Republic of Guyana.”
Nagamootoo said that he is not aware that Granger cannot appoint an executive for a period during a disaster or delegate responsibilities to someone who has served as a Prime Minister and who “is the Prime Minister and whose services has not been dispensed with”.
Nagamootoo said that it is in that capacity he serve- and not with any “pomposity” or “arrogance”.
“I am doing this because I am called up to discharge a patriotic duty, to help with the protection of the health of the people.”
The official said that it is important that someone has to be in charge of dealing with the situation.
It was pointed out only recently that the public transportation operators refused to carry nurses, forcing the Task Force to step in and deploy school buses.
“Someone has to be the head of the Task Force to coordinate and we are the Government of Guyana.”
However, Datadin made no bones about that argument.
“Guyana is in danger of becoming a failed state. Guyana, by all economic and financial indicators, seemed destined to be on an economic trajectory to monumental success. The oil and gas find in 2015 was now beginning to rev the economy from its third world slumber and power itself to stratospheric heights.”
The lawyer said that it was shocking to see how the political situation evolved into a fraudulent and undemocratic circus.
He said that it is clear that there can be no government now.
“There is no regard for the rule of law anymore and public institutions are no longer functioning as they should because of their lack of independence.”
The official said that the starting point was back in December 2018 when the Coalition Government fell on a vote of no-confidence in the Parliament.
“Elections were due within three months thereafter. That didn’t happen. It didn’t happen for two main reasons which every Guyanese know about. Firstly, the preposterous and downright asinine view was expressed that 33 votes was not a majority of the 65 votes case in Parliament.”
Secondly, he said, the unlawfully appointed Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson who said he could not hold elections within the three-month period.
“Neither of these things was true and everyone knew it. Even its proponents knew this but they didn’t care. It allowed the veneer of decency to carry out the most indecent of activities to continue to govern even though you had no right to do so.”
Datadin said that the debate of whether a Cabinet was in place was a real non-issue.
“The Constitution was clear. The issue became whether the Coalition would obey the Constitution or not. It’s not surprising to anyone they didn’t.”
Datadin said it was an excuse to continue in government, nothing else.
“But this Cabinet-less government went to the polls on March 2 last. The tolerance by the main Opposition party and its leaders was because it was felt that no-one in the presence of observers and scrutinized on live television and social media would rig an election … how wrong that assumption turned out to be.”
He was critical of the statements of Nagamootoo yesterday about his appointment and said he is misleading the public.
“He holds no office and there is no government. The APNU/AFC officers are behaving as if the NCM (no confidence motion) never happened … they went into the election without a Cabinet and they came out of the election with a Cabinet … by what mechanism…by what authority?” The lawyer pointed to the Constitution, Article 104, which brings ministers’ portfolio to an end on Elections Day.
“No other provision could counter that because the Government went to the election following its defeat by a NCM. It was not an election called in ordinary circumstances. I challenge Nagamootoo to point to any law to justify his argument that ministers still hold office … and not some fanciful spin on plain English and perverse opinion like the 33 is not a majority of 65 argument.”
The lawyer also said that by the same extension, there should be no Minister of Public Health. “The civil service should continue … the Permanent Secretaries … who should not be politicians, should be in charge. Miss Volda Lawrence, acting as Minister, is without legal authority but so much is at stake and so much is without legal foundation…what do we do? We have to find our way back to the rule of law.”
The lawyer said that the country is being held to ransom to “inept and imbecilic leaders who don’t even have a clear plan of how to rig the elections … making it up as they go along … made with Neolithic incompetence. We have no way of accessing international skills and funds without a lawful government … the supporters of APNU/AFC seem to not realise this … the whole world had said the election was not transparent and was fraudulent … except them and because they say so they think it’s so.”
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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