This government has found itself in hot water with the international media community on the passage of the Broadcasting Bill, and it will continue to find itself in such a dilemma with other stakeholders when it makes decisions without regard to its constitutional responsibility. As said before, there is no debating the fact that the broadcasting landscape needs order, but bringing about this order, which has implications for the national good, should have had the involvement of those whose lives will be impacted by the decisions.
This government campaigned on “inclusionary democracy” which is a constitutional requirement of the “political system” (Article 13), and should have upheld it and not found itself in the present position of having to be scolded by the international community for failing to adhere to it. The parties in government, while in opposition, complained about the lack of consultation by the PPP/C government on issues of a national character, yet at the same time when given the privilege to govern they are replicating the same behaviour they condemned.
Non-consultation will not help the government’s image, and has serious implications as to how international institutions treat with us. The request to government for meetings by stakeholders in society is treated as though a favour is being granted not that of responsibility that has to be executed. In independent Guyana there are persons sitting in the seat of government who are behaving like overlords, refusing to accept the constitutional fact that they are representatives of the people, elected by the people, paid by the people, who should be advancing, protecting and defending the people’s interests and well-being at all times consistent with the Constitution, laws and time-honoured principles.
The David Granger/Moses Nagamootoo government must start acting in a manner consistent with their constitutional responsibilities.