The executive of the country should be chosen by parliament

Dear Editor,

Without giving credence to or affirming Mr. Nigel Hinds’s claim `Under US election guidelines Granger would have won the presidency’ (SN Mar 5), I believe there is a need to urgently replace the Burnham constitution that allows any minority control of the government.  Going by Hinds’ claim, the PNC (APNU) has become a victim of its own constitutional machinations when it replaced the democratic 1966 constitution with the fraudulent Burnham constitution. Under the 1966 democratic constitution, Mr. David Granger could (would) have led the government in a coalition with Khemraj Ramjattan of the AFC.

In December 1964, the PPP won a plurality but the PNC and UF formed the government when the Governor General by-passed precedents and asked the leader of the second largest party, Forbes Burnham, to form a government.

Burnham linked up with Peter D’Aguiar of the UF in a coalition, the dictatorship resulted, and Burnham replaced the constitution to allow himself and his party to govern presumably forever under rigged elections until the US demanded democratic elections and the PNC lost.  Since last November’s election, the PNC (APNU) and AFC have teamed up to squeeze the PPP.

The executive of the country should be chosen by the parliament unless we opt for an executive completely independent of the legislature like the US or the Latin American nations. Under the US political system, the President (executive) is chosen by the voters separate and distinct  from the legislature.  The President chooses his cabinet with the consent and approval of the legislature.  That kind of system does not exist in Guyana.

The opposition controls the legislature in Guyana.  The PNC and AFC should immediately introduce measures to abolish the Burnham constitution replacing it with the 1966 constitution and let parliament choose the executive be it a Prime Minister or a President.  Or if unwilling to do that, at a minimum, the PNC and AFC should amend the constitution to allow for the parliament to choose the President with a majority of votes. This would give a clear indication if the opposition really believes in democratic concepts.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram

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