The ejection of PPP/C Councillor Mr. Khame Sharma by Mayor Patricia Green at a statutory meeting of the City Council raises some important questions regarding the state of governance, not only in the City of Georgetown but the country as a whole.
My take on the issue is that the decision to eject Mr. Sharma from the meeting, under escort, was not only unnecessary and unwarranted but smacks of a fair measure of intolerance to opposition views.
Only recently, an opposition member of the Guyana Elections Commission, Mr. Robeson Benn was ordered out of a statutory meeting of that body by the Chairman of GECOM. And not so long ago, a member of the National Assembly, Bishop Juan Edghill was ruled out of order and suspended from further participation in the business of the Assembly for an entire session by the Speaker.
It would seem that an emerging pattern of behaviour is manifesting itself which speaks to an unacceptable level of intolerance to dissenting views. This does not bode well for the future of governance in this country.
The political health of any country is judged by the extent to which it is accommodating to political and cultural diversity. Further, such attitudes make a mockery of the professed declarations of the current APNU+AFC administration on the issue of seeking to build social cohesion and participatory democracy.
I think the Mayor owes the citizens of Georgetown an explanation for her decision to prevent an elected member of the Council from having a motion on the state of the City Hall put on the table for discussion and more importantly for taking the unprecedented action to have the Councillor removed from the precincts of the City Hall.
I think also that the Mayor needs to apologize to Councillor Sharma for the action taken in having him removed from the Council meeting.