After 57 years of Independence Guyana’s Parliament has evolved from a place of intellectual arguments and dithyrambicoration to a house of degenerate outpourings. The past two parliaments (2015-2023) have witnessed displays of the most uncouth, pleblesite behavior from both sides of the oil. A huge section of Guyanese correctly conclude that many of our parliamentarians are the worst of peoples’ representatives, but they are still to recognize the biggest misfit of all. The worst aspect of Guyana’s Parliament revolves around the self-anointed Horatio of the Bridge who has stood at the gates, and barred many highly important bills to be presented and debated.Thanks to the machinations of the Speaker of the House,Mansoor Nadir, his acolyte position has elevated him to the PPP’s 34th Member of Parliament!
As the House stands, or sits, the peoples’ representatives of discourse and decisions- however lackluster they may be- now have to contend with much trepidation that their presentations are not smothered before they can be articulated in fullest form. His decisions have blocked most things that have to do with oil. When all of this is taken under consideration, it is now beyond doubt that what Guyanese have is a dummy Parliament. The Speaker hears a word beginning with an ‘O’ and he shivers, runs to his counsel for guidance – the main one whose name ends in ‘O’- on what he should do, what he could take a chance on and what bill should be allowed into the territory of open debate.
No one dare questions his authority for the simple fact: HE IS THE AUTHORITY. The antics of the Speaker are childish as he endeavors, rather futile, to give the impression that he has carefully weighed the pros and cons of the issues tabled before him, but his flimsy, internal concoctions spew all things negative in his quest to virtually block anything and everything. His obsequious position says it all, especially bills that have oil or gas which can never move past his commanding gavel. Motions cannot see the light of day, not even for information purposes. In the rare instances when debate is allowed, the Speaker is clever enough to limit the time, so as to limit any possible exposure of the PPPC Government, and minimize any embarrassment the oil behemoths. The former speaker under the Coalition was not far off either.
What the Speaker has settled for, after trying futilely to give the impression that he has carefully weighed the pros and cons ofissues tabled before him, is to virtually block anything and everything that has oil or gas as its name from moving past his commanding gavel. Motions cannot see the light of day, not even for information purposes. Questions are snuffed out before they can be articulated in fullest form. One motion should be of overriding priority: The Gas to Energy project is the country’s biggest undertaking, projected to cost some US$B2.0, up from US$B1.0 three years ago. Everyone must be informed how Guyana’s money is spent and accounted for, not like former projects like the Glass Factory or the Skeldon Sugar godee.
The antics of the two ethnic political dinosaurs which control Guyana are a living nightmare, a bizarre scenario whereby the country legally elects a dictator- the so-called ‘the lesser of two evils’. Guyanese with understanding can evaluate the reprehensible consequences as the only true state of affairs isthe words of the National Anthem and the Speaker.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine