CCJ’s Consequential Order Requires Guyanese to Unite

Press Release submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (19th June 2019)

CCJ’s Consequential Order requires citizens uniting to hold politicians accountable to a higher political order and love of country- not just power

The fundamentals of our democracy and regional integration stand strong in the decisions handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Tuesday 18th June.  The rulings- ‘no-confidence’ motion and appointment of GECOM chairman-of the CCJ is a signal that the integrity of our judicial system in Guyana and the Caribbean can be relied on to adjudicate disputes in any environment of partisanship and polarisation. This is important in a context that notwithstanding the many questions and aspersions made about the integrity of the system Guyana and CARICOM states can be proud today.

Respecting due process

The Caribbean through Guyana has set an example of how political conflicts can be resolved through the judicial process. A process that requires trust, confidence and belief that the judiciary is the final arbiter on interpretation of the laws and the guardian of same.

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is heartened that notwithstanding vocal acceptance or rejection of the High Court or Appeal Court’s rulings on the given issues, due process allowed the various stages of our judicial system to be rightfully granted all parties involved. The Government, Opposition and all society are bound by the rulings of the CCJ and neither party can today claim they were denied due process and equal access to this branch of government and finally to the CCJ.  This is the fundamentals of our democracy reflected in the adherence to Rights and the Rule of Law.  This is indicative of what good governance is all about.

Right to legal justice

But even as we mark this achievement let us recognise that it came only after many were believed to be figuratively kicking and screaming through the entire process, seeking after political responses and satisfaction (political justice) that presented risks of deeper chasms, with domestic and regional instability as opposed to a more rational and acceptable judicial pursuit that reinforces the rights of all, confidence in this arm of government and the separation of powers therein. It came notwithstanding the belief and projected comments that Government was holding onto power and amidst calls for them to step down even as they sought to defend their belief and right to pursue judicial settlement.  This was a right that could easily have been denied had they bowed to pressure leaving many uncertain as to whether they were cheated out of government.

Peace through legal justice

Guyana and the Region have won.  GTUC reiterates the call made on 21st December 2018, when the Parliamentary vote was considered passed, that this is not a time for triumphalism or opportunity to create ethnic tension and divisions in society. The only victors here are all Guyanese and our branches of government that were allowed to deliberate consistent with the role of each. If we act contrary, likewise the victims will be all Guyanese and our branches of government, an untenable situation that will not serve the collective well. Let us claim victory as a nation. Peace, law and order and our judicial system remains intact. Together we must now build bridges to deepen our democracy and safeguard our nation for all Guyanese.

Building bridges and forging unity

We have to move forward based on the rulings and we must do so in an environment of mutual respect, consistent with the systems and recommendations that would guide our behaviour and steer the ship of state. GTUC reiterates its call to the Government and Opposition to meet and chart a way forward as to how government will function consistent with Article 106(7) of the Guyana Constitution. Management of the state is a day-to-day activity, failing which anarchy prevails. We call on the media and all Guyanese to rise to the challenge of building a better Guyana.

One with more tolerance and respect for the rights and rule of law; for all to be held accountable to these fundamental and universal principles of good governance; respect for the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and the rights of each to pursue legal justice which distinguishes us  on the continuum  of civilisation and   political  maturity. It is now time for our political leaders, supported by all stakeholders, to come together in determining the way forward as we continue to test and charter new waters.  We must have a better Guyana for all.

 Unchartered waters

We are reminded that there remains no convention or written guidelines how the society ought to function in a post “confidence” (no-confidence) environment. This the political parties must equally turn their attention to as matter of urgency. All of the political operatives over the years have been calling on citizens to put Guyana first. This is the time the GTUC calls on the politicians to demonstrate leadership that puts Guyana first.  There can be no hesitation, no reluctance, no refusal or political showmanship to delay the arrival at a position of satisfaction to all sides that would best serve this country by ensuring inclusion of all and the protection of rights.

People’s power

The parties return to the CCJ on June 24th to address the Consequential Order. We must go there with a plan as to how the country will proceed, in the interim and after the elections, consistent with Article 13 of the Guyana Constitution. It would be unfortunate to have the CCJ imposing on us what we are capable of determining.  It would be an insult to our forebears who came together to fight common enemies and build Guyana.  It would cast a dark cloud on our ability to unite for the common good and leave us vulnerable to internal and external destabilising influences.  The jury is out now on the ability of Guyanese citizens to unite and hold the politicians of this country accountable to a higher order of politics and love of country not just power. In a democracy granting the power is ours to give, ours to influence and ours to deny.

10 comments

  • This applies to every island in the region as well. Time to hold these uppity, power hungry nitwits, misfits and CONTROL FREAKS for leaders, ministers, lawyers etc accountable and expose their every dirty move against the people…as soon as they are elected…they start with the nastiness against people and country.

    .. holding them all accountable AND CONSISTENTLY WATCHING AND EXPOSING THEM…can only happen if THE PEOPLE UNITE.

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  • My father left British Guiana in 1929-30. He sent for my half-sisters in the early 1940’s and never never went back there. He refused to vote when Burnham instituted the overseas voting. Guyana is divided along racial lines and its future doesn’t look too promising despite all the oil. I wouldn’t be surprised if a race war were to break out. The country had one when Jagan was the leader. The British have a lot to answer for : Fiji, Sri Lanka. Burma, The Sykes-Picot act in the Levant;. destruction of the Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan) in China by the 8th.Earl of Elgin, the use of small-pox contaminated blankets given to the Native Americans by colonel Amherst, the British commander in America at the time. The use phosgene gas against the Kurds in Mesopotamia in 1917 fomented by the archaeologist Gertrude Bell in collusion with Winston Churchill (the British hypocrites got a nerve to speak about human rights) and the Mau-mau of Kenya. I am not particularly fond of the British. I am sorry that the Amerindians don’t have the military might to drive out the usurpers from Guyana.

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  • The court deciding when the election should be called and the relevant support structures being ready to support the decision may conflict. It will be interesting to seek how it plays out.

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  • The president seems hell bent on getting a new election list in place. Granger has been out-foxed: he should have seen the no-confidence motion coming and taken the appropriate actions. The opposition leader wants election in three months and doing it Granger’s way is not going to help things.

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  • As usual the country will probably descend into a constitutional crisis with court cases flying left and right. How can you have a fair election if the electoral list and pertinent bodies are not in place?

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  • @David June 20, 2019 6:49 PM
    That’s the main problem in Guyana. It is also a problem in Trinidad. The British created all of these problems They get annoyed when any attempt is made to redress the situation. Just like the intervention with Serbia. There is no way the Serbs are going to allow the Albanians to keep part of their land. Going to result in another war; just like Germany and the second world war. Nationality and religion do not fade away. Multiculturalism is stupid and will never work. There is going to be lots of blood shed later this century, the result of do-gooders who did not see the big picture a hundred -two-hundred years in the future.

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  • @Dr. Lucas

    One would think that multiculturalism is an evolution from globalization? If you dismantle protectionism to create an unrestricted global trade market the free movement of people will follow?

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  • @David
    It doesn’t naturally follow. You have an elite that wants cheap labor ;that refuses to listen to the masses of the people. It is for this reason that there is talk of freedom of movement. Ask yourself what can the Ill-educated masses streaming into Europe add to the development of Europe? The answer is cheap labor. They aren’t wanted by the native population. It is only due to political correctness and the hate-crime laws that the majority remain silent. Passing laws will not change attitudes. I am going to E-mail you a BBC podcast of ” Business Daily” .The last ten minutes or so are very informative.

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  • Please email me it too

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  • Guyana Trades Union Congress

    24th June 2019
    Press Statement

    Our political leaders must stop disappointing us

    It is unfortunate the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Monday 24th June had to advise President David Granger and Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo to constructively engage as citizens have been asking of them prior to and after the confidence vote of 21st December 2018. The CCJ has given the Government and Opposition an opportunity to guide the Court, via consensus, on how it should issue the Consequential Orders. This will be done on 12th July.

    It is only through constructive engagement we can resolve differences. The reluctance of either or both to heed the advice to engage in this process can only be seen as contributing to a disastrous situation in the future. Their individual and collective actions and inactions are failing Guyana.

    Regardless of how differently they interpret the law, CCJ rulings reinforces our political leaders are required to engage and give meaning that would bring resolution. This is consistent with the spirit and intent of Article 106(7) and Article 13 of the Guyana Constitution. Both require engagement, cooperation and inclusion.

    As both sides prepare to meet such meetings must not be cosmetic. A mechanism should be put in place for continuous meeting. It is an indictment on us a people that the court had to request engagement in arriving at consensus. This principle forms the objective of our political system that mandates “inclusionary democracy.”

    Since engagement of the CARICOM leaders on the Herdmanston Accord (January 1998) and St Lucia Statement (July 1998) that resulted in constitutional reform, where the current Article 13 has been ensconced, the political relationship among rival forces remain acrimonious and estranged. This nation cannot continue like this and whereas the judges’ decision is a win for all Guyana it must not result in complacency by anyone.

    We must move from the lowest level of political engagement to a level of maturity. Our political leaders must demonstrate they have the capacity and wherewithal to arrive at a consensus that will bring this nation together as one and move us forward. They must set the tone for civil engagement. Failing to satisfy this minimum of requirement may bring into question their ability to rise above partisanship and put Guyana first.

    We are not at war with ourselves but even in war as factions aim at each other they too recognise the importance at efforts of engagement in pursuit of resolution. The GTUC reiterates the call for our political leaders to get it right.

    The President and Opposition Leader are called upon not only to address a date for election, matters pertaining to the Voters List and GECOM Chairman but how the business of the people will be managed post elections. This must be consistent with the spirit and intent of the Constitution which they have sworn to uphold.

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