Why does Parliament’s reconvening have to await the Speaker’s return?

Dear Editor,

Parliament will not reconvene until the return of the Speaker who is on a trip to St Petersburg, Russia from October 11 to October 20.  What nonsense!  An entire nation’s business has to await the return of one individual?  What happens if my brother has to make a visit to the Pearly Gates of St Peter, will we also postpone the Guyana Parliament?  The legislative branch, judicial branch and the executive branch, or for that matter, any organ of the state should not have to wait on anyone, since as a collective the Guyana Parliament is supreme over a mere Speaker.

Furthermore, these visits are usually reserved as courtesy visits for backbenchers as support for the Speaker, especially at a time when we have a packed legislative agenda that requires urgent progress so that the nation can make way for the presentation and debates on the 2018 National Budget in November-December 2017.  In that tradition, I observed the PPP nominated Dr Bheri Ramsaran (a backbencher) and not their lead parliamentary person, Ms Gail Teixeira, which illustrates that that party understands the protocol.

The PNC led coalition government, on the other hand, chose the occasion to ship the Prime Minister out in such an important period.  Such a situation illustrates two things: how unimportant Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo is to the decision-making the process and that there seems to be a move by Congress Place to diminish his influence.  He is now tactically demoted to a ribbon-cutter, a delegation filler, an excuse finder and a dignified publicity artist peddling foolish propaganda for the regime.

Yours faithfully,

Ryan Basdeo

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