Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman has lambasted the President over his decision to prorogue the Parliament, thereby suspending the current session of the National Assembly and bringing a halt to all Bills and Motions currently before the House.
Addressing a meeting with the Opposition Members of Parliament in the Parliamentary Chambers, Speaker Trotman made known his disappointment in the decision by the President. He said “This is most unfortunate. The power of the elected House of the People’s representative has been neutered and this is also in my opinion most undemocratic”.
The Speaker appeared convinced that the move by the President is an “illegality” which he said is compounded by the fact that the President did not give a date when the prorogation period would end. Under the Laws of Guyana, the prorogation could last for up to six months.
“This is even more distasteful in my view than the suspension of the Constitution in the 1950’s. More distasteful because the difference between then and now is that then it was done by the mother country, now it is done by our own”, Trotman said.
He said the period of prorogation could be seen as a momentous time in the history of Guyana and could present a transformational period for the country. Trotman said the Guyana Parliament will not longer be seen like the other Parliaments in the region, but the Guyana Parliament would have now joined the ranks of those that would have passed through fire and turmoil.
Speaker Trotman said the National Assembly remains ready, willing and able to discharge its mandate as the legislative arm of the two tier Parliament of Guyana.
President Donald Ramotar on Monday morning dispatched his Proclamation of Prorogation of the Parliament to the Speaker and the Clerk of the National Assembly. That document was closely followed by the Official Gazette of the Proclamation.
In an Address to the Nation on Monday afternoon to announce his decision, President Ramotar said it is his “genuine desire to have the prorogation of the 10th Parliament ended sooner were my Government and the Opposition to reach an agreement for a return to normalcy”. The Opposition parties have indicated that they do not intend to engage the government in any discussions during the prorogation.
Filed: 10th November, 2014