While violence will not be an option, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has several tools in its arsenal which will be used to make the life of the coalition administration uncomfortable after March 21. This is according to Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.
At a press conference held earlier today at his Church Street Office, Jagdeo said that from Friday (March 22), the APNU+AFC administration would become illegal and Guyana would be planted firmly in an “unprecedented, unconstitutional crisis”. In response to this state of affairs, he said that there would be countrywide protests and a host of legal action.
The PPP General Secretary said, “We made it clear that we are different from the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R). We will not burn a single building in the city, as they did, or anywhere in the country. We will not damage infrastructure or beat up people on the streets or harass them. We will not do anything that will harm our doctors, police officers, teachers, etc. from going about their business from keeping our country going.”
Jagdeo continued, “Our target will be narrowly focused on the illegal President, Prime Minister and Ministers. We will not pursue violence but will make life very uncomfortable for them. We will seek international condemnation against this government…and will pursue sanctions against them and the PNC Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).”
He added, “We will take additional political steps. We will be protesting across the country. We will pursue legal actions which were discussed during my meetings with several local and international lawyers. We will not cease until Granger respects the Constitution. We will fight everyday for all of Guyana and we reject any elections being held in November.”
Turning his attention to the legal counsel he sought, Jagdeo said that all the lawyers agreed that after March 21, the APNU+AFC Government would become illegal. In fact, Jagdeo said that what the nation is actually witnessing, based on the advice he received, is akin to a coup d’état.
“Normally, we use this term regarding the overthrowing of the government by force but what we are going to be seeing is the illegal occupation of office by the government and that is a coup d’état of the Constitution by the government,” expressed the Opposition Leader.
Further to this, the PPP General Secretary noted that after March 21, President David Granger will essentially lose all powers of immunity and would therefore expose himself to civil or criminal lawsuits on any or all acts committed after that date.
The Opposition Leader said, “Granger can’t claim entitlement to the immunities he enjoys at this time. People can take legal action against him. Same goes for the ministers. They would be illegal and their acts also would be illegal and they would have to be answerable to acts they commit using state resources. All acts of government will become voidable.”
On this note, Jagdeo sought to put all investors on alert that if any agreement is signed with this government after March 21, they too are exposing themselves to criminal or civil lawsuits for colluding with an illegal government.
Jagdeo also dismissed arguments about the doctrine of necessity.
He said, “The government cannot claim that the doctrine [of necessity] kicks in after March 21. All the lawyers I have spoken to claim that the President cannot take advantage of his illegality by claiming necessity. It does not apply when it is self inflicted and it is self inflicted because he disregarded his mandate to call elections.”
The Opposition Leader concluded on this matter by calling on citizens to see the matter for what it was; he said Granger was now putting the country at great risk, especially its territorial integrity, because he wants to hang on to power at all costs.