Government should swallow their pride

first_imgDear Editor,My attention was drawn to an extensive social media post by Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin in which he posited “The Constitution is silent on the impact of a no-confidence vote on the National Assembly. I would therefore expect the National Assembly to continue to function as normal, and in keeping with the will of the electorate, until such time as it is dissolved.”I will begin by agreeing with Gaskin that he is correct in that the Constitution is silent on the matter, but since Article 106 (6) states “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence” and Article 106 (7) continues “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”, then one can take the two articles conjunctively to arrive at a commonsense position that it cannot be business as usual as contended by Gaskin. Instead, it must be a period of great ethical behavior; no granting of contracts; no dispersal of state assets; no actions that can be deemed favorable to one’s self, friends, cronies or business associates. While a caretaker Government provision is not explicitly stated, we cannot have a vacuum, hence it is most certainly implied.Editor, there was no rabid call for resignation of the Government prior to their announcement of ‘exploration of options’, until then, President Granger and Opposition Bharat Jagdeo had set a respectful tone that becalmed seas that threatened to be stormy. The behavior of Cabinet members since the departure of President Granger has caused many great alarms. The attempts to sidestep the Constitution by way of asking the Speaker to review a decision of the National Assembly; introduction of illogical interpretations of the word ‘majority’; questions of citizenship that are clearly addressed by Article 165 (2) of the Constitution are all acts of people who are desperate to avoid facing the electorate.Editor, until there is a renewed public acceptance by the Government that it has fallen and there exists no constitutional crisis, civil society members will continue to be strident in the calls for the resignation of the Granger Administration. The people of the nation accepted the results of the no-confidence motion, I strongly urge the Government to swallow their pride and follow suit, failing which the medicine will indeed be bitter at the polls.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more