Opposition dismisses Court action calls it an abuse of power
Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman has issued a strong reaction to the latest action by the PPPC administration for the Court to pronounce on the Budget Cuts. The Speaker declared that the continued resort to the High Court to question legitimate decisions of the National Assembly, points to the grave and gathering danger of a constitutional crisis, which has the potential to assume proportions, the like of which, the nation has never seen, and may be unable to handle.
Trotman said this latest High Court action brings into question, and possible derision, the very constitutional pillars upon which our democracy is founded, as it strangely asserts that the timeless, sacred and sacrosanct function of the National Assembly to approve public spending is only perfunctory. Opposition APNU MP Dr. Rupert Roopnarine insisted that the move to the courts is another attempt by the Attorney General to have the Court trespass in the House.
AFC MP Khemraj Ramjattan is party is preparing a vigorous defense of what appears to him to be an abuse of power by the ruling PPP/C Administration.
The PPPC government on Tuesday filed an ex-parte action in court challenging the Budget Cuts quoting several sections of the Guyana Constitution. Even the Minister of Finance is cited as a defendant. The Government through the HPS is essentially arguing that under the Constitution specifically Article 218 the National Assembly has the power to approve the National Budget but not to attach, what is tantamount to, a line item veto to it. Basically, the Government wants the court to declare that the National Assembly has to either approve or disapprove of the whole Budget not parts thereof.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Forbes Luncheon is claiming that the reduction in the Budget Allocations will affect the work of the President and that too would be unconstitutional under the same so called Burnham Constitution that the PPP at one time wanted to repeal.
The opposition parties in the national assembly used their majority in an effort to call on the government to be more accountable and for the work of some government agencies and government funded programs to be revisited.
The matter will come up for an initial hearing on Thursday Morning.