United Kingdom urges reconvening of Parliament

United Kingdom urges reconvening of Parliament

One week after President Donald Ramotar prorogued the Guyana Parliament, the United Kingdom has issued a call, urging the Government to convene the Parliament and allow it to do its work.

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Andrew Ayre on Monday told reporters that “the central message is absolutely clear. Parliament should re-sit in Guyana and get on with the business of taking this country forward.”

He was at the time speaking to journalists following the opening of a workshop on anti money laundering in Georgetown. The High Commissioner said the President needs to reconvene the Parliament at the earliest possible opportunity.

President Ramotar has said that his decision to prorogue the Parliament was as a result of the efforts of the Opposition parties to move a no confidence motion against that government. With the joint opposition parties holding the majority in the National Assembly, the government believed that the motion would have been passed and the President would be forced to call early elections.

High Commissioner Ayre said while the President is covered by the constitution in his decision to prorogue the Parliament, the majority of members in the parliament also have rights.

“The UK believes that the central pillar of democracy is Parliament and therefore Parliament should re-sit with the shortest possible delay”, Ayre said while adding that “the constitution, while it gives the President the right to prorogue parliament, it also gives in Article 106 (6) ┬áthe right for the majority of MPs to dissolve the Parliament essentially and have new elections. These things aren’t mutually exclusive”.

He also pointed out that the Constitution of Guyana points to democracy in Guyana being made up of the President, the Cabinet and the Parliament and therefore it is important that “we stay within the Constitution of Guyana going forward.”

President Donald Ramotar is coming under increasing pressure to end his prorogation of Parliament. The Organisation of American States and several other groups have called for a return to parliamentary democracy. The President has indicated that he wants to have discussions with the Opposition on the way forward. The Opposition parties have made it clear that there could be no discussions once the Parliament remains suspended.

Filed: 17th November, 2014

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