See below the full statement issued by the Private Sector Commission on Monday:
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is increasingly concerned at the statements, which have followed the decision of the High Court to uphold the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly, being made by the government and its representatives that “until the matter is concluded at the highest court of appeal the status quo remains and the business of government continues as usual”.
The statement issued by the government’s Department of Public Information clearly and, it appears, with deliberate intent, flies in the face of the decision of the Chief Justice.
The “status quo”, meaning that nothing has changed, simply does not remain and the business of government does not continue “as usual”. There have since been similar misleading statements made by senior members of the governing party which add to the Commission’s concern.
We must underline the fact that, when the Attorney General sought a Conservatory Order from the Chief Justice to preserve the “status quo ante”, his application was rejected by the Chief Justice.
Clearly, therefore, in the view of the Commission, her ruling remains in place unless successfully appealed in a superior court.
The Commission, as a consequence, expects the President and his government to respect and honour the decision of the Chief Justice and to proceed to have elections held no later than March 21st as required by Article 106(7) of the Constitution.
The Commission wishes to remind that the Chief Justice in her decision upheld Articles 106(6) and 106(7) of the Constitution that the government, while remaining in office with the President in place, does so without a functioning Cabinet which the Chief Justice deemed to have resigned since 21st December 2018.
The Commission wholeheartedly welcomes the statement by United Nations Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka, with regard to the ruling of the Chief Justice, calling upon our government to “demonstrate its integrity and respect of Guyana’s Constitution and the Judiciary that constitutes the foundations of the rule of law and good governance”.
The Commission also welcomes the statement by the Delegation of the European Union in Guyana calling on “all concerned parties and stakeholders to uphold the Constitution.”
The Delegation, it must be noted also “looks forward to free and fair elections being held as appropriate and in line with all Constitutional provisions”.
The Private Sector Commission speaks not only for the business community with hundreds of billions invested in the development of our economy and the employment of some 60% of our workforce.
In this case, we believe that we speak for the majority of the nation when we express our concern over public statements which deny the express ruling of the Chief Justice; statements which could lead our country into a situation of grave instability and an illegal government resulting.