PPP/C to boycott President’s address to National Assembly
The National Assembly will reconvene this afternoon after a two months break with an address from the Head of State, however with the absence of the Parliamentary Opposition who will be boycotting the President’s speech in protest of Carvil Duncan’s removal from Constitutional Commissions.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition stated that the party members find it “impossible to sit through another lecture on democratic governance and constitutional propriety,” which will be the focus of President David Granger’s Speech. The President is expected to address the assembly ahead of the reading of the 2017 National Budget.
The party said it has in the past sat through the President’s speech and accorded him the respect as Head of State, but must in this instance, register its protestation.
“To do otherwise would be a derogation of our responsibility as Members of Parliament. We must register our deep and abiding displeasure at such wanton Executive abuse of our Constitution and its important agencies” the statement added.
In a letter dated October 10, 2016, the Head of State suspended Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), fraud accused Carvil Duncan has with immediate effect, pending the outcome of an ongoing tribunal. The tribunal is investigating whether Mr. Duncan ought to be removed from office for inability to discharge his duties and is expected to render its report on or before October 31, 2016. Asa a consequence, Duncan was also suspended from the Judicial Service Commission, the Police Service Commission and member of the Commissions of the Board of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
It added that the commissions were established by the Constitution to create checks and balances against Executive abuse of power and are independent and their officers are highly protected.
The Parliamentary Opposition says the unfolding events in relation to Mr. Duncan are an assault to Constitutional democracy.
“This Tribunal was established although certain criminal charges filed against Mr. Duncan are still pending in the court. (It) is proceeding with its work although Mr. Duncan’s lawyers have indicated that it was set up in breach of the rules of natural justice and its work will violate Mr. Duncan’s constitutional presumption of innocence and is without due process” the party outlined.
It is of the view that this behavior will trickle down to ordinary citizens of this land in due course.
However, the party said it will be participating in tomorrow’s debate on the National Youth Policy, an important issue that will be up for consideration.