Frustrated with National Assembly, not the PNCR and Mr Corbin

Dear Editor,
Reference the Stabroek News article on the reasons for my resignation from Parliament (‘Vieira withdrew resignation as PNCR-1G,’ 9.1.09). The article is inaccurate and speculative and does not reflect the truth.

On more than one occasion I have stated publicly on ‘The Evening News’ that I had submitted my resignation from Parliament to the leader of the PNCR-1G, Mr Robert Corbin. The resignation is dated March 28, 2008. I have also publicly stated that my sole reason for so doing was the fact that I abhor wasting time and that is what I felt I was doing. Any legislature in any country which is structured as ours is, will be an ineffective tool to enact legislation on behalf of a democracy.

Over 200 years ago when the US constitution was being crafted Mr Madison (who became the fourth president of the US) was told by numerous sources that it was not possible to write a democratic constitution for a country as large as the US and with so many different interests and factions.  Madison, however, thought otherwise and opined that if the three arms of government − the executive, the judicial and the legislative − could be separated and insulated from allowing any one arm to control any other arm then it would be possible to have a functioning democracy.

In Guyana the Burnham 1980 constitution, which was a constitution intended to set Guyana on a socialist path rather than a democratic path, placed so much power in the executive arm of government that it can control the other two arms, the legislature and the judiciary. The constitutional reform process failed to undo this damage and the PPP has consistently failed to understand that having democratic elections is pointless unless we have a functioning democracy, so we go through this ridiculous exercise every five years of having ‘democratic elections’ to elect a dictator for the next five years.

What I said when I announced my resignation on my evening newscast − and I am sure that some members of the public will remember it and the tape is also there to prove it − was that if Sir Winston Churchill, the greatest orator who ever worked within the Westminster system, was to address our parliament for one hour and deliver the best speech he ever made in his entire life, he would not be able to change the vote of one PPP MP assembled there to carry out the agenda of the executive and Freedom House, and that makes a farce of our entire legislative process.

I resent the fact that even though I have said all of this publicly on numerous occasions that anyone can now equate my frustration with the National Assembly and my ability to change nothing with problems that Mr Robert Corbin is having within the PNC.

I have no problem with Mr Corbin or the PNCR, and the public is aware that I am fearless enough in speaking the truth and would tell them if I did have problems with the PNCR. I actually enjoy working with them, and neither Mr Corbin nor the PNCR has ever tried to curb my independence, and I will state here again that I am not a member of the PNCR, I am in collaboration with them on the One Guyana Platform which I see as the next third force in 2011. What is needed, however, are independent people such as myself who will be partners with the PNC and not be subsumed by them, and that is why I decided to stay, especially since Mr Corbin, Mr Winston Murray, Mr Lance Carberry and the actual supporters of the PNCR have asked me to do so. Even as I continue to find the process useless and frustrating and unrewarding I am a little flattered by that, ie that they value my input so much.

I still really don’t see what useful purpose my being in that Parliament will serve this nation; the nation itself must be made to understand that just putting opposition members of Parliament in the house will guarantee them nothing, and that only through their [the public’s]  continued militancy can they empower us to function in their best interest.

Thursday’s events in the house when they passed the Trade Union Recognition [Amendment] Bill despite the fact that all opposition parties walked out of the house for the debates on it, is a good example of how arrogant the PPP have become when dealing with the opposition and the people they represent in this country.
Yours faithfully,
Anthony J Vieira,
MS MP

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