Quid pro quo

The Peoples’ National Congress (PNC) government nationalised the Demerara Bauxite Company in 1971. At that time article 8 of the Constitution of Guyana provided for the payment of “reasonable” compensation. The Bauxite Nationalisation Act of 1971 amended “reasonable” to give constitutional validity to the nationalization.

At that time the PNC did not have a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, which is required for legislation amending certain provisions of the constitution. It therefore required the support of the Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) to pass the act. The PPP was a fervent supporter of the nationalisation of the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy based on strong, “patriotic,” ideological convictions. Yet the PPP demanded in return a quid pro quo – an office for the Leader of the Opposition – to which the PNC Government acceded.

A similar situation occurred in 1976. In that year Bookers was nationalised.  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

Join the Conversation

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

The Comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit/delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity. We moderate ALL comments, so your comment will not be published until it has been reviewed by a moderator.