‘Treacherous and anti-national’: Teixeira says seizure of Mace signals threat to governance in Guyana

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Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira, who is a seasoned Member of Parliament, has strongly condemned the seizure of the Speaker’s Mace in the National Assembly and the attempted effort to undermine governance in Guyana.

Chaos unfolded in the National Assembly on Wednesday night when Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh attempted to present the PPP/C’ government’s Natural Resource Fund (NRF) Bill.

Minister Teixeira said that the disruptions and the subsequent seizure of the Mace were pre-planned. Those “treacherous” actions, she said, were not only meant to only stop the passage of the Bill but to undermine the authority of Guyana’s law-making arm of government – the National Assembly.

“It is anti-national and unpatriotic,” she said pointedly during a press conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

For context, there are three branches of government to create an accountable system of checks and balances. These are the legislature, which is the law-making arm comprising the President and the National Assembly; the Judiciary, which vest authority in the courts; and, the Executive which comprises the President and his Cabinet.

Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira (third left) and other Ministers of the Government at the press conference

 

And the Mace, as simple as it seems, is the most significant symbol in the National Assembly. It represents the authority of Parliament. When the Speaker enters or leaves the Chamber, he is preceded by the Sergeant-at-Arms bearing the Mace on his right shoulder.

“This is not acceptable behaviour (and) in fact we mustn’t take lightly what happened with the Mace.

“…. Any attempt to remove it is an attempt to overthrow the authority of the National Assembly which is our legislature,” Minister Teixeira lamented.

What is worse, she contended, was that the NRF Bill, which was still passed, is a piece of legislation that allows the government to use Guyana’s oil wealth to facilitate the development of Guyana.

Earlier on Thursday, Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir said there will be repercussions for Opposition Parliamentarians who seized the Mace.

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