The CCJ Decision Is A Potential Win For All Guyanese – By Ronald J. Daniels


  By Ronald J. Daniels – 19 June 2019

Good. So let’s talk. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) had made its rulings on the matters which caused us to hold our breaths since December of last year. The Court has found that the Motion of No Confidence was validly passed. It found that it has no jurisdiction (no right, in simple language) to determine whether Charrandas Persaud was properly a member of parliament. The CCJ further found that the Chairman of the Elections Commission, Justice Patterson, was not validly appointed to that post.           

There are some of us who are seeing this as a win for the opposition and a loss for the government. There are some of us who have increased the volume of our chants to hasten elections and kick the government out of office; or just to kick the government out of office whether through elections or not. There are those who are calling for elections within twenty eight (28) days from the CCJ’s judgment. There are those of us who are suggesting that the government never should have filed these cases in the first place.

While, technically, it is a loss for the government, I see this outcome a different way. I see this outcome as a potential win for all Guyanese. Yes! I did say that! …A potential win for all Guyanese. I will tell you why in a bit. But before I do, let us get a few things out of the way.

I am happy that Nigel Hughes raised the issue of whether 33 or 34 votes constitute a proper majority to upset an entrenched (really important) provision of our Constitution. We can have our fun and throw jabs at Hughes for his faulty mathematics. But what we cannot deny, perhaps after our emotions settle and we lend ourselves to sober reflection, is that we really do owe Hughes a debt of gratitude for setting this process in motion. For those of us who are of the view that the government should not have pursued these matters, permit me kindly to disagree with you. I suggest that we can, if we so desire, criticize the government’s motivations, but not its decision to invite the courts to settle these matters.

This process truly has been a learning process for those of us who have looked on with a critical eye and have lent ourselves to sensible analysis of the issues as they unraveled. For those of us who have been and continue to be only emotional about this process, you do have my hope that your emotions give way to reason so that even you can benefit from the lessons we have learnt and should learn.

Had it not been for this process we likely might have persisted in having our parliament composed of members who should not be there constitutionally.Had it not been for this process we can never tell how many future presidents might not feel compelled to lend him/herself to’ meaningful discussions’ in the selection of a chairman for the Elections Commission. Had it not been for this process certain quarters of our society might have remained forever under the impression that a parliamentarian cannot vote against his/her list.

Had it not been for this process we would have remained divided as to what constitutes an ‘absolute’ majority. And I beg you, please do not re-invoke that argument that our Constitution does not use the word ‘absolute’. I neither can muster the patience nor seize the time to entertain that. This process has certainly reinforced our dire need for meaningful constitutional reform. I do hope we can collectively see, what I submit is, the obvious benefits of having our highest court settle these matters.

This process has shown us also that political parties, whichever they are, need to take a stricter account of persons in their folds; and need to have in place adequate mechanisms to entertain and act upon dissent. Political parties, as well, should never let loyalty (in the sense of long-term commitment) be a more serious benchmark than competence for the selection of critical office holders. Loyalty is a very important virtue. But loyalty absent competence leads to arrogance when intoxicated by power. Yes! Perhaps you may want to read that again. Slowly.

This process has reminded us that the divide which exists in our society is not a trivial one. Across the board, we are very ready to take a side which cannot be supported in principle; a side that finds its only support in colour. This simply cannot be the future we remain condemned to; the future to which we condemn ourselves. We have seen the show of massive appetites for power…on both sides of the divide. But I must commend us nonetheless.

Despite this process producing the most violent intellectual clashes of ideas and ideals, and the throwing of the vilest insults, we as a Guyanese people have not descended into physically manifesting our disagreements. Let us keep it this way.

Our judicial system has been tested and we can attest to the fact that it works. It still is a work in progress and process, but it works! Our democracy has been tested and we can be bold enough to say that it too has shown persuasive signs of improvement. This certainly is the dawn of a new day.

Now, let us close our conversation by looking at how this really is a potential win for all Guyanese. It is a potential win for all of those reasons I have spoken of above. But more particularly, it is a win because we as Guyanese, and not the CCJ, get to decide the way forward. The Court has placed the ball in our court to craft for ourselves the ‘consequential orders’ (the way forward based on the Court’s findings).

Guyana is at the most critical crossroads we have been at in recent history. We are venturing in a new economic direction. This direction can be to our benefit or to our detriment, depending on how we as Guyanese craft our course forward. These past months have demonstrated to the international business and political community that we are at a vulnerable place. We are fighting against each other. We are fighting for power and using as our tagline that the country will be at peril if either the government returns to office or the opposition is so elected.

We are accusing each other as having as our mandate the spiriting away of our resources. There is no rocket science here. Our vulnerability makes us fair game for those who see only our resources. And I dare you to show me any entity which sees beyond our resources at this crucial time. Now more than ever we need to bridge the racial, social and political gaps if our future, especially our economic future as a country, is to be a meaningful one. The next few days will determine whether we will put Guyana first or whether we will anchor ourselves to business as usual.

The world is watching. I continue to pray for the best outcome for us.

Ronald J. Daniels

19th June, 2019

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  • kamtanblog  On 06/23/2019 at 3:24 am

    Guyana is not fighting an economic war
    The multi nationals will do it for them.
    The anti corruption battle must continue
    if that war is to be won.
    Corruption is endemic in guyanese
    culturally and no antibiotic will fix that.
    Until political jackasses are replaced with
    those who are elected to serve the people
    nothing will change. Democracy in principle
    and practice is way forward.
    For starters “compulsory” voting should be
    introduced ASAP…as per OZ.(Australia)
    Guyanese living in the diaspora should
    not be registered as voters.
    More Guyana born are living outside
    Guyana than it’s registered resident
    voters….go figure !
    Ps a very honest and interesting article
    by Ronald J Daniels
    My take
    Kamtan uk/spain


  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/23/2019 at 8:00 am

    Eddie in the UK wrote:

    Thinking in the faulty mental paradigms of former oppressors that use language to deceive. To state that only through this deception could the anomalies of the system be discovered is a logical truism.

    It dismisses the view that these things could have been known, but suppressed by the politicians and political bureaucracy because of their own self-serving agendas.

    I can’t see how any form of practiced corruption coming more to light can be to the benefit of all Guyanese, nor why the life-long practice of ethnic voting, will end, and unity will be strengthened when the economic realities of ownership remains skewed in favour of a particular ethnic group.

    These intellectually naïve views have been at the heart of black people suffering and downtrodden status throughout the world.

  • the only  On 06/23/2019 at 2:26 pm


  • Rena Bassit  On 06/23/2019 at 6:36 pm

    Well explained Mr. Ronald J Daniels…I wish that some politicians will read your input…Only God’s intervention will help Guyana…let us all regards to all.

    • kamtanblog  On 06/23/2019 at 6:51 pm

      Nice one
      Pray to god to save Guyana !
      God only help those who help themselves.
      Some don’t believe god exists !
      The only persons who can help Guyana
      are guyanese themselves.
      When you believe in yourself
      nothing seems impossible.
      Guyanese have to believe in themselves
      if they wish to move forward.
      My take
      Kamtan uk/spain

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