“Tone down the rhetoric and put society first”- GTUC to politicians


The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is calling for political maturity as Guyana, for the first time, witnesses the passage of a No-Confidence motion against the Government.

“The common good, the national interest, must take precedence over any partisan political gain,” the GTUC noted in a statement on Saturday.

The Trades Union Congress called for “the toning down of the rhetoric and for sobriety and wisdom to inform the discourse as to how the nation proceeds at this crucial juncture.”

Given the newness of the experience, the GTUC noted that both the Government and Opposition are challenged in navigating the process to preserve national good and maintain stability.

“The challenges of this period must only serve to remind us of the growing pains of democracy,” the Union said.

However, it does not agree with calls made by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo for the Government to resign immediately as is provided for in Article 106(6) of the Constitution of Guyana.

Instead, the GTUC referred to Article 106 (7) which it said is the “defining clause” and advises on how to proceed after the vote of No-Confidence on December 21.

106(7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.

Along this line, the GTUC said the Constitution, though allowing for a confidence motion against a sitting Government, does not dictate for society to function without a Government in the interim.

As such, the Union noted that “to demand otherwise is to court anarchy and to operate not in our best national interest.”

The elected Executive, the GTUC said, remains responsible for the day-to-day administration of the State and the Government and Parliament will continue to operate because both are tasked activities to ensure the smooth functioning of society.

The GTUC is urging both Government and Opposition to adhere to their responsibility of maintaining order and safeguarding the nation’s stability and peace.

“It is not a period of showmanship and ‘digging down,’ for the political forces still have to meet, talk and work together,” the statement contended.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has issued a call for the Government to resign with immediate effect as he argued that they should now take up “a caretaker” role and begin preparations for elections.

Following the passage of the motion on December 21, the Opposition Leader spoke of a meeting with  President David Granger, who departed Guyana the following week on Christmas Day to continue his treatment in Cuba for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with earlier this year.

Upon the President’s return in the new week, the GTUC urged that other stakeholders of the Coalition Government, including the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) be part of the meeting.

The Union also wants the meetings to be extended to involve the trade union movement, private sector, and religious representatives, noting that, “inclusion in our democracy, in this decision-making process is important for our country to overcome these turbulent times.”

The GTUC believes that at the end of the entire process, the nation must come out stronger and the working-class, observers and the international community must feel confident that the process has factored in the safety, well-being, and future of society.

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