“The government’s complaints about threats to democracy must be the irony of this century. It is the government that is threatening democracy by its failure to accept the will of the majority and implement the decisions made in the National Assembly,” said Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon in a statement on Sunday, in wake of the government’s recent complaint to the international community over the opposition’s decisions in the National Assembly.
Taking umbrage at the government’s position, Solomon said that it is the people of Guyana who have given the mandate to the opposition to check the excesses of the government by giving majority support to the opposition.
“The minority government has singled out the Linden issue as a threat to democracy. Let it be clearly stated that the People of Linden/Region Ten are in a fight to ensure that democracy works at both the national and regional levels,” he said.
“The people of Region 10 and Linden are fighting to ensure that there is respect for the right to protest, to life and preventing the government from shooting down unarmed protestors, freedom of expression, sharing of ideas and information; the right to freedom of association and assemble; the right to pursue economic development; the right to be involved in decision-making and management on matters that affect their wellbeing; and the right to be treated as first class citizen in the land of their birth,” he said.
“Region Ten calls on the international community to remember their role and commitment to democracy and ask that in their engagement with the government they remind them about the honour of governing in the interest of all,” Solomon said.
“The international community must remind the government that it is normal in democracies for the legislature to act as a check on the excesses and arbitrary use of power by the government,” he added.
Solomon also chided the private sector for being loud in calling for a solution of the Linden protests, but not calling for the government to honour its commitment to the August 21, 2012 agreement. “The Region is sensing from the engagements with the government that there are two different politics that are operating. The old politics versus the new politics. The Region’s continued interaction with the people of the Region convinces the regional leadership that the people are tired with the old thinking and no longer want to bear the scars of this bygone era. The new thinking demands a politics of inclusivity, rule of law, dignity and respect for all,” Solomon said.
He said that the region will continue engagements with the government in the spirit of compromise while promoting and protecting the interests of the people of Region 10. “But it must be said that compromise for us means we will not abandon the principles of the Constitu-tion and the honouring of our laws. Our actions will be guided by the intent of the Constitution as it relates to local government,” he emphasised.