Guyana’s Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall is doubtful that executive powersharing is attainable, citing the government and opposition’s failure to see eye-to-eye on current, pressing matters that require consensus.
Nandlall, during his weekly “Issues in the News” programme, said that while the concept of powersharing looks feasible on paper, it is not a viable governance structure. He premised his argument on the government and opposition’s inability to achieve harmony over the appointment/confirmation of key Judicial posts, including those of the Chief Justice (CJ) and the Chancellor. These posts require consultation between the President and the Opposition Leader, but for close to two decades, all attempts to confirm the persons acting in those positions have been fruitless.
Nandlall opined that if the government and opposition cannot fulfil such a simple constitutional requirement, then governing a nation together would be impossible.
“That, right there, is a mechanism for powersharing to take place and it has never happened. The only place where we have it, it has not worked,” the AG said.
The senior politician further noted that powersharing within such an adversarial environment will ultimately lead to the government grinding to a halt, noting that opposing views are bound to clash.
“Then, the government will indeed grind to a halt! Then you will have anarchy and chaos in the country! But maybe that is what they want; they want power at all costs. So, they will concoct and formulate these nonsensical formulations and spout them publicly…It’s a veneer only so that it sounds intelligent and it sounds profound, but it’s a nasty, shameless grab for power without winning an election,” Nandlall lamented.
The AG also noted that calls for powersharing and shared governance are only made when his People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is in government. He said that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) was not interested in sharing when it was in power between 2015 and 2020. He said that the persons who are now mounting calls for inclusive governance were silent when the PPP/C was in opposition.
“They were comfortable with the status quo then. But every time the PPP gets into government, suddenly there is a clamour for power sharing and shared governance. And they create the impression that society will collapse and Guyana will implode, and we will have ethnic strive and ethnic war unless power is shared. Don’t fall prey to the veneer of sophistication being used to wrap clumsy and ridiculous permutations and argumentations,” Nandlall remarked.