The Tenth Parliament of Guyana was convened (sitting) on 12 January 2012 after the General Elections of November 2011. In this sitting Raphael Trotman of the Alliance For Change (AFC) was elected as speaker of the House Deborah Backer of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) was elected as Deputy Speaker. Members of Parliament were also sworn in. The late Deborah Backer resigned from the National Assembly and was replaced as deputy speaker by Basil Williams of APNU in February 2014. HISTORY MADE The people of Guyana elected a divided government in the General Elections of November 2013 and made history –the President’s party is the minority in the National Assembly because the opposition parties decided to caucus as a “Combined Opposition”. This caucus was effective in curbing the excesses of the PPP/C’s executive branch: Spending and halting projects riddled with fraud and destined for failure.
PROROGATION OF THE PARLIAMENT OF GUYANA President Donald Ramotar has created Guyana’s first ‘one-party’ dictatorship. He promulgated a Proclamation to prorogue parliament on Monday 10th November 2014. He has, thereby, peremptorily paralysed the parliamentary process by preventing formal sittings of the National Assembly. The President’s Proclamation stifled the voices of the people’s legitimate representatives in the National Assembly. The ‘Proclamation’ extinguished the expectations of the more than 175,000 Guyanese who, almost exactly three years ago in November 2011, voted for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) to have the majority of seats in the National Assembly. President Ramotar has now single-handedly engineered a constitutional crisis. The main purposes of the ‘Proclamation’ are to allow the People’s Progressive Party Civic to avoid parliamentary scrutiny while it attempts to:
- Prevent debate on the Opposition ‘no-confidence’ motion;
- Prevent the holding of local government elections; prevent debate on financial excesses and impropriety;
- Protect the reputations of his ministers from parliamentary sanction;
- Permit the PPP’s campaign for general and regional elections to proceed;
- Permit the continued expenditure of state funds without parliamentary scrutiny.
The President’s ‘Proclamation’ to prorogue parliament is a challenge to the entire nation. He has no grounds for his crude smothering of parliamentary independence. APNU is resolved to resist the President’s ‘Proclamation’. APNU calls on all the good people of Guyana everywhere to join in a civil movement for the restoration of parliamentary democracy by peacefully resisting the PPPC’s resort to dictatorship and to call for the revocation of this ‘Proclamation’. http://parliament.gov.gy/about-parliament/political-parties/a-partnership-for-national-unity-apnu/