The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) says it accepts the declaration by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Friday that the APNU+AFC government is now a caretaker following the successful passage of the Opposition’s no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018. However, the WPA strongly contends that the scope of the government’s power is now limited as a result of that “caretaker status.”
In a statement to the media today, the WPA said that this notion, which is being peddled by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), is incorrect. For the WPA, a caretaker government is a temporary government and not a restricted government.
The party said, “It simply means that the government has lost its popular mandate and its continued tenure is dependent in the first place on the constitutional requirements or on a two-thirds vote of the National Assembly. While the holding of timely elections must be at the top of the government’s agenda, that should not inhibit it from carrying out its normal functions. There is no such thing as a half-government — there is either a fully empowered government or none at all.”
Towards this end, WPA said it supports the government’s move to begin preparing the annual budget. Furthermore, the Party said it disagrees with the view that such a move is outside its mandate. The WPA noted that the preparation of a budget is a necessary aspect of governance that must continue even when there is a political impasse. The WPA stressed that all governments have a responsibility to ensure that economic planning is not impeded by partisan political machinations. In other words, while the two sides work towards a solution, the WPA opined that the budget process should not be held up.
Notwithstanding the above, the WPA called once more for President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to intensify the search for consensus on the selection of the next Chairman for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). It also urged that the two sides to do what it takes within reason to have credible elections in a timely manner.