Did the November elections not provide us with new conventions?

Dear Editor,

It is my sincere belief that great things happen when fearless people look beyond themselves and attempt what seemed totally impossible. Sometimes it is necessary to take the crazy bull by the horns and wrestle it into submission. There is no way a faint heart can win a fair lady.

In 1966, while still in high school, I was very much caught up in the opportunity for our country to pilot its own destiny. Today I look on in frustration as our politics continue to crush that opportunity. One side is bent on maintaining an obnoxious status quo while the other side is too proud to get their clothes dirty to do something about it.

For years the majority of people have been saying that our 1980 constitution had tremendous flaws with obscene and unrealistic protection for some. Before 1992 the party now in power was its major critic. Before the 2011 election there were a lot of promises of reform. Yet today people are allowed to take cover under same.

I am surprised that those persons are not reminded of this daily and exposed.

Certainly this would not have been a major alarm for me if the country was seeing progress regardless, but given certain trends every effort should be made to work around it. And that is where our intellectuals come in. Our legal minds have to use out-of-the-box initiatives. I’ve always argued that legal interpretations are not static. The tenets of the law and thus the interpretation of a constitution are to guide humanity to a better place. Now more than ever Guyana needs the ability to grasp its true potential.

The Speaker’s ruling in the House on the no-confidence motion is the second time in our history that a very senior functionary is found hiding from an opportunity to take the bull by the horns. One may remember Desiree Bernard’s pronouncement in the 1997 election case – I do not have the authority. Unbelievable.

There is no way that the Home Affairs Minister can claim that he is doing a good job. Anyone with an iota of shame would have looked at the escalating crime situation and walk away from the job. I had previously argued that the situation may be just part of a re-election strategy but that is not what is holding this person in place.

This is the person who refused to leave his office when the previous President demoted him only to rise again. For some reason this person has a formidable hold on his party, merely for walking with the founder leader. It means that some other strategy has to be used to break this shackle.

The Speaker of the House had the chance. But first he had to think about it and asked for advice from a senior counsel. Then he is hit with the response that the ‘no confidence’ vote is not enforceable, “however, in other jurisdictions he would have been forced by convention to resign as a Minister.”

Two things here. Was the senior counsel looking at the 1980 constitution? The constitution that is hated by so many? I hope not. Second. Didn’t the November elections provide us with a new convention? Just asking.

Yours faithfully,
F Skinner

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