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.