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OAS Comments On Decision To Prorogue Guyana Parliament

WASHINGTON, DC, CMC – The Organization of American States (OAS) says it hopes parliamentary debate would resume in Guyana “in the shortest possible period of time” as it has taken note of the decision of President, Donald Ramotar, to prorogue the National Assembly.

Ramotar has sought to justify the decision taken on Monday, to prorogue Parliament, saying he had earlier indicated a desire for the National Assembly, in its post-recess sittings, to deliberate and give priority to important matters relating to the development of the country.

But the main opposition grouping, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), has described the decision by the head of state as “the darkest day for democracy in Guyana.”

In a statement, OAS Secretary General, Jose Miguel Insulza, said he had taken note of the proclamation, in which President Ramotar prorogued the parliament of Guyana with immediate effect for a maximum period of six months.

Insulza observed that the prorogation occurred within the framework of the country’s constitution.

“The head of the hemispheric Organization stated that, in a democracy, an efficient functioning of the Parliament allows for checks and balances and for the voice of the people to be heard.

“Since the last elections in November 2011, Guyana has had a split governance system with the executive controlled by one party, and the combined opposition having the majority in Parliament,” the OAS said.

“This situation presents both challenges and opportunities for all parties in Guyana to work together for the greater good of the country. In light of this reality, the Secretary General of the OAS urges both the governing and opposition political parties to redouble their efforts to reach an understanding and compromise on the major political and socio-economic issues facing the country,” the statement added.

Insulza also said he hoped that parliamentary debate “could be resumed in the …shortest possible period of time.”

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