Caribbean News Desk radio prog: Caricom adopts wait-and-see approach to Guyana’s political impasse… Guyana’s civil society groups table options to break prorogation impasse

Last Updated on Thursday, 4 December 2014, 22:18 by GxMedia

The Caricom headquarters

The 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach to the political impasse in Guyana, even as a group of civil society organisations called on President Donald Ramotar to lift the almost one-month old suspension of Parliament.

The President prorogued the Parliament on November 10, the same day that the opposition had planned to debate and pass a no-confidence motion in the government that would have resulted in elections having to be held in 90 days.

Now that Opposition Leader, David Granger has told the President in a letter that he would not be holding talks unless the parliamentary suspension is lifted, the Guyanese leader is preparing to tell the nation what’s his next move at the weekend.

Granger’s call for Caricom to hold an emergency summit on Guyana appears not to have been met with any degree of enthusiasm.

Caricom Chairman, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Brown has told Caribbean News Desk that an emergency summit of regional leaders or the placement of the Guyana situation on the agenda of next February’s mid-term summit was unlikely.

Mr Brown says Caricom leaders will discuss the matter only if the situation in Guyana worsens. He adds that from all indications President Ramotar has assured that there would be no abuse.

The Caricom Chairman says that from all indications President Ramotar’s decision to prorogue or suspend Parliament is constitutional but at the same time he is expected to go to the polls shortly.

Mr. Brown explains that Caricom has to be careful that any intervention that Caricom may make will not be considered as hasty or an act of interference.

Meanwhile, two groups of Civil Society organisations are calling for an end to the suspension of parliament but their formulas appear to be different.

One group that includes Transparency Institute of Guyana , lawyers associations, the Roman Catholic Church and women rights entities wants President Ramotar to lift the parliamentary suspension or call early elections.

They are worried that Guyana is currently being governed in a manner that upholds the valued democratic principles of transparency, accountability, inclusion and representation.

Those civil society organisations want political leaders to engage in compromise, dialogue, trust and reconciliation to help repair fragile, weak and ineffective political culture, practice and institutions that have led to this perilous period in our Guyana’s history.

The other group, which includes two trade union umbrella bodies, the Private Sector Commission and the Inter Religious Organisation, wants the President to reconvene Parliament no later than December 31.

In exchange, they want the opposition to shelve the no-confidence motion for one month during which time they will hold negotiations on resolving a number of outstanding issues as well as hold joint talks on preparing the 2015 and 2016 National Budgets.

That group says that during that one-month period, the two sides will be expected to discuss the composition and implementation of all outstanding commissions that are required by the Constitution, agreement on a date for Local Government Elections before the life of the current parliament comes to an end, and mechanisms by which the bills not receiving assent can be resolved.



Caricom on wait-and-see approach to Guyana’s political impasse, even as civil society groups intervene

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