first_imgDear Editor,There has been a lot of language of defiance following the CCJ’s ruling of June 18. Losing a no-confidence vote is not the end of political life. As the CCJ said, a no-confidence vote is an aspect of democratic governance in parliamentary democracies. It is used to hold governments accountable to Parliament and to the voters by way of their representatives. So many regimes (governments) and political leaders lost a no-confidence vote in recent times (including in the UK, Australia, Austria, Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc). Political life goes on. Some make a comeback; others quit. Democracy is strengthened and corruption is lessened. This is how countries get better governance. Rulers become fearful they could lose power if they don’t govern in the best interests of the nation. No one is cheated. All benefit from a no-confidence vote; a country learns from it. So why the defiance?A ruler must not take measures to evade the consequences of a successful no-confidence vote by taking instruction from the elections commission to set a date for elections. The law states that the President has to dissolve Parliament and hold elections within ninety days. Guyana is perhaps the worst case of a government seeking to avoid elections after a no-confidence vote by invoking the name of the elections commission as an excuse. The law does not state that the President must consult with GECOM on its preparedness for elections. The elections commission is supposed to be permanently prepared for elections because a government can fall anytime. In fact, the law states that that the voters’ list must be continuously updated in preparation for elections. There is continuous identity registration of fourteen-year-olds so that eligible voters (attaining 18) would be on the voters’ list. Saying the list is not ready is a lame excuse. Saying that the list has names of the dead and migrants is also a lame excuse; those dead and migrants were also on every voters’ list including the one used last November for the local elections and last May 2015 elections that catapulted the coalition to office.No ruler should be fearful of facing the electorate – the true bosses of the politicians. A ruler can very well win re-election after losing a no-confidence vote or when counted out of the voting ring. Just last month, the Australian PM won re-election when he was all but counted out. The rulers of Austria, Greece, Israel, and several other countries have decided to face the electorate after the Parliament lost confidence in them (even though a formal vote was not taken). The ruler of the United Kingdom decided to step down after failing to get a majority of MPs to back her. We should not forget that former President Donald Ramotar “fired himself” rather than face a no-confidence vote – that is an option of a country and is also an aspect of democracy. Basdeo Panday of Trinidad also fired himself in December 2001 and called elections that he lost rather than face a no-confidence vote.President David Granger is a military man and I am sure he will do the right and honourable thing; he knows what are orders and will subject himself to the orders of the court (CCJ). I am confident the President will dissolve Parliament very soon and begin consultation with the Opposition Leader on the replacement of his unilateral appointee of GECOM Chair.The court was very clear that the appointment of James Patterson violated the Constitution. The President was misadvised that he could act unilaterally in appointing the Chair of GECOM. The court has so informed him that the process he used to appoint Patterson was flawed and a violation of the Constitution. There must be consultation with the Opposition Leader, who will provide six names and the President will choose one as GECOM Chair; there is no way around that process. I think President Granger will act accordingly.Separately, I am disappointed with the incendiary language used by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Finance Minister Winston Jordan – “there is going to be war” if there is no house-to-house registration. Both know that the law does not call for house-to-house registration, in fact, the CCJ also made reference to this point. That kind of militant language of violence belongs to a bygone era. As the CCJ judges said, the country can’t go back to the period of Burnhamism or authoritarian rule. The law is very clear that once a government loses a no-confidence vote, it must resign, serve as a caretaker, and hold elections within ninety days. The CCJ will not allow a violation of the Constitution, having drawn heavily from the language in the Constitution in rendering the unanimous judgment in favour of the no-confidence vote.Even the court noted that there is no need for house-to-house registration of voters; names not on the list can be added. Those who migrated or the dead, the latter in particular, can’t turn up to vote or can the latter vote as happened in 1968, 1973, 1978, 1980, and 1985.Nagamootoo has had a reputation of championing democracy since his high school days in the 1960s. It would be disingenuous of him to evade democratic practices by threatening violence if Government does not get its way. That is not the result of a no-confidence vote and how the system works. The no-confidence vote allows the polity to cleanse or revitalise itself.All sides must pull back on this talk of violence, desist from advocating delayed elections, and respect the rule of law as clarified by the learned judges of the CCJ – new elections within ninety days from June 24.Yours truly,Dr Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more