GEORGETOWN, Guyana, June 3, 2021 - Guyana’s parliamentary opposition, The APNU/AFC is concerned that the country’s National Assembly has not met since the 4th of March, giving further credence to whispers of a developing dictatorship in Guyana.
In a letter dated May 27, 2021, to the regional body of parliamentarians, The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association as well as the ParlAmericas in Canada, which is committed to improving and enhancing democracy in the region, Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones complained about the failure by the speaker of the National Assembly to commence sittings of the House.
“We write to bring to your attention further actions by the Speaker of the National Assembly of Guyana to erode Parliamentary democracy,” MP Jones told the regional organization which Is composed of 35 National Legislatures from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
“There is no indication from the Speaker of any intended date for another sitting. During this forced closure of the National Assembly four hundred and eighty-seven 487) questions for oral and written replies have been submitted by the Opposition Members of Parliament,” Mr. Jones said.
“Additionally, the High Court of Guyana has ruled that two Members of Parliament appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries by the Government are unlawfully appointed and despite the service of order of court upon the Speaker he has taken no discernible steps to remove those persons as Members of Parliament.”
The Opposition Chief Whip pointed out that “In December 2020 we wrote advising of serious concerns of the APNU+AFC Opposition in the failure by the speaker of the National Assembly to commence sittings of theNational Assembly from 2nd September 2020 to December 2020.”
“We therefore again seek your support in urging the preservation of parliamentary democracy and encouraging the prioritization of regular sittings of the National Assembly,” he said.
He explained that “The National Assembly was subsequently convened principally to debate and pass the budget for 2021. The budget was passed on 4th March, 2021, as at the date of this correspondence marks eighty five days since the last sitting of the National Assembly.