OEA llama a la reanudación del Parlamento de Guyana
La Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) llamó a la reanudación del Parlamento de Guyana, suspendido ante la posible aprobación de una moción de no confianza de la oposición contra el Gobierno, según un comunicado del ente divulgado aquí.
Una de las primeras reacciones internacionales a la suspensión del parlamento guyanés el pasado 10 de noviembre por el presidente Donald Ramotar, llegó la víspera por parte del secretario general de la OEA, José Miguel Insulza, en un comunicado de prensa que insta a la reanudación del debate parlamentario, tan pronto como sea posible.
De acuerdo con el texto, Insulza “tomó nota de la Proclamación 1 de 2014, del 10 de noviembre de 2014, en la que el presidente Donald Ramotar prorrogó el Décimo Parlamento de Guyana”.
Aún reconociendo que la suspensión de la Asamblea Nacional de Guyana se produjo en el marco de la Constitución del país, Insulza declaró que: “en una democracia, el funcionamiento eficiente del Parlamento permite controles y equilibrios para que la voz del pueblo sea escuchada.”
El secretario general de la organización internacional instó a todas las partes a trabajar por el bien común de Guyana .
Asimismo urgió tanto a los que gobiernan como a los partidos políticos de la oposición a redoblar su esfuerzos para llegar a un entendimiento y compromiso sobre los grandes temas políticos y socio-económicos que enfrenta la nación.
El pasado lunes, Ramotar dijo en un comunicado que desmantelaba la legislatura a fin de beneficiar al pueblo, medida que sus oponentes calificaron como de socavar la democracia.
Después de un receso de dos meses por parte de los parlamentarios y bajo un mecanismo constitucional conocido como prórroga, el gobernante aclaró que estaba en su derecho de suspender el parlamento por un máximo de seis meses.
Hasta el momento, la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom), cuya sede radica en esta capital, permanece en silencio sobre el tema.
En la actualidad existen proyectos de leyes en la Asamblea Nacional dirigidos al desarrollo del país que están detenidos por la mayoría parlamentaria que corresponde a la oposición, entre los que figura la aprobación de la legislación contra el lavado de dinero y la lucha contra la financiación del terrorismo.
Declaración del Secretario General de la OEA sobre la prórroga del Parlamento de Guyana
APNU/AFC to hit the streets on Friday
Alliance For Change (AFC) Leader Khemraj Ramjattan on Monday, instigated that the Government should not be surprised if Guyanese respond violently to President Donald Ramotar’s decision to prorogue sittings of the National Assembly.
In fact, Ramjattan had warned that people who were frustrated were likely to be part of demonstrations with that course of action.
He was also quoted in one section of the media as saying that he would not be surprised if “all hell does not break loose in the streets before that time by the frustrated masses, spontaneously reacting to the PPP/C’s [People’s Progressive Party/Civic] lawlessness. The PPP/C is provoking protests…”
Despite this, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Wednesday announced its intention to host a mass “rally” to protest the President’s decision to suspend the legislature.
The rally is also being planned in light of the Opposition declaring that it does not intend to engage the President in any form of dialogue until the prorogation of Parliament is rescinded.
APNU General Secretary and Member of Parliament (MP) Joseph Harmon explained that the rally is planned for the Sqaure of the Revolution on Friday afternoon at 17:00h.
The coalition’s General Secretary also told Guyana Times that permission has been sought and given from the Guyana Police Force for a “loud instrument” to be used during the rally.
When asked what that instrument was he indicated that it would most likely be a microphone and speaker, that is, a sound system.
When asked why this is being done despite the public voicing its reluctance to protest, Harmon affirmed that it was not a protest, but rather a rally.
He said, “We will see what happens, if they are not interested they won’t turn up.”
Meanwhile, APNU MP James Bond via his Facebook appeared to be calling Guyanese to “act”.
He also disarmed arguments that protest actions could lead to the loss of jobs and instability.
“Whilst some are focused on protest and protest action and the loss of jobs as a result of protests, I woke up thinking that given the history of the PPP/C, their history of unbrazen and unabashed thirst for absolute control (and) absolute power, we are in the darkest days of our Republic, and my brothers and sisters it is yet to hit midnight.”
He continued to say, “It’s time to act. Square of the Revolution, Friday 5:30 pm.”
Since Monday, Opposition MPs have been calling on Guyanese to take action against the government. Interestingly, they have not specified what type of action they endorse but have been using the words “mass protests”, “resistance” and “fighting for democratic rights”.
One Opposition parliamentarian went as far as to call on Guyanese to give an “aggressive rejection” to the President’s decision.
In addition, Ramjattan has been accused for inciting violence and making threats to the Executive.
On Monday, he told the East Indian consistency that were they to notice instances where their members were being beaten and attacked that the PPP/C could be responsible, as it was all part of the PPP/C’s plan to drive fear into that community.
“This is exactly where the PPP/C wants us. And they are going to get their people if people started demonstrating and things run bad out there, to beat us East Indians and then they will play it on NCN,” he said with the intention of taking advantage of the race card.
Several embassies and consulates here have already begun sending warnings and notices to their citizens about the potential of these demonstrations turning violent.
In fact, the US went even further and warned its citizens to avoid being in the area where these demonstrations would take place.
Guyana will head to ‘snap’ elections if dialogue unsuccessful – Dr. Luncheon
PRESIDENT Donald Ramotar has no intention to prorogue Parliament a second time, after having done so on Monday, but will move straight into “snap” elections if another genuine attempt by his Administration at dialogue with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) fails.This was according to Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr. Roger Luncheon, who made it clear that the reason for the prorogation was to attempt dialogue in the interest of the Guyanese people.
“Elections, the President is absolutely categorical. He has absolutely no intention of proroguing and re-re-proroguing. He has said that on umpteen occasions and he has said this to the Opposition,” the HPS said, at his weekly press conference, yesterday, held at the Office of the President.
As a result of prorogation, the first session of the 10th Parliament, is suspended up to a maximum of six months – a move that is provided for in Section 70 (1) of Guyana’s Constitution.
Dr. Luncheon acknowledged that the leaders of APNU and AFC have made clear that there will be no dialogue without the reconvening of Parliament.
However, he contends the combined Opposition clearly feels “thwarted” in moving to the dissolution of Parliament, via the passage of the AFC- sponsored no-confidence motion against the Government.
He said, “I think the Opposition feels thwarted in that their option, the one to which their language and their public exhortations suggested that they would have engaged, this is the involuntary dissolution of the 10th Parliament after the passage of the no-confidence motion, was thwarted by the President’s constitutional intervention.”
The effect of ending a session by prorogation is to terminate business. Members are released from their parliamentary duties until Parliament is next summoned. All unfinished business is dropped from or “dies” on the Order Paper, the National Assembly’s agenda, and all committees lose their power to transact business, providing a fresh start for the next session. No committee can sit during a prorogation. Bills which have not received Royal Assent before prorogation are “entirely terminated” and, in order to be proceeded with in the new session, must be re-introduced as if they had never existed.
As a result, the AFC’s no-confidence motion was not considered. The main Opposition, APNU had, prior to Monday, signalled its intent to support the motion.
Had it not been for the proclamation to prorogue Parliament, and had the no-confidence motion been passed, Guyana would have been headed to early general elections within three months.
According to President Ramotar, the move to prorogation was intended to pave the way for greater dialogue among political parties, while keeping the 10th Parliament alive.
OPTIMISTIC OF CHANGE OF HEARTS
The HPS, regardless, expressed optimism that there could be a change of heart in the Opposition camps.
He added that the initial, negative reactions were expected, but urged that they “should not be taken to the bank.”
“I don’t believe (however) that the initial and immediate reactions should be assumed to constitute the more permanent and more mature positions….unless time proved otherwise, I do not believe that these initial reactions should be taken to the bank. I would hesitate,” Dr. Luncheon said.
The HPS stressed that the “big picture” is the fact that the President has made another genuine attempt at dialogue with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) in the interest of the Guyanese people.
“Voluntary and involuntary dissolution of the Parliament are both constitutional provisions…similar circumstances over time have not prevented a reasonable outcome…I think this is what the six months is what was included by the drafters of the constitution,” he said.
Dr. Luncheon reiterated that the exercise of President Ramotar’s constitutional right was in the interest of preserving the life of the 10th Parliament to address the many outstanding issues of national importance, including several important Bills and consideration of matters current in parliamentary committees.
“There are a whole host of unfinished business that this 10th Parliament has progressed from its initial sitting in 2012 and to irrevocably and irreversibly rub that out was something none of us in the Administration could have stomached, not without a fight, not without another effort…the records will show that the PPP/C Administration did all that was constitutionally possible and all that reasonably could have [been] done, we went the extra effort, to avoid such a situation,” he said.
The prevailing situation is not “world war three” as is portrayed, the HPS contends; however, he conceded that it could be termed a “min-crisis” of sorts.
“Time will tell…I will concede that the hype, the language, will have us think we are on the verge of world war three, but I am willing to recognise that similar circumstances over time have not prevented a reasonable outcome, eventually,” he said.
The developments in the success of dialogue, Dr. Luncheon concluded, will have to be monitored over time.