Private sector group criticises police action chaos in Parliament

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Dec 13, CMC – The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has criticised the decision to call out police officers to remove an opposition legislator from the Parliament building on Tuesday saying the issue “does not augur well for our democracy”.

Opposition legislator Bishop Juan Edghill was Tuesday suspended from four sittings of the National Assembly after the government used its majority to table and pass a motion suspending him for his “gross misconduct” during the Monday’s sitting of the Assembly.

PSCMembers of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) later walked out in solidarity with Edghill, who on Tuesday had defied by the Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland that he be removed from the Chamber.

Edghill, who was prevented from entering the Parliament building by police officers, was arrested after he went pass a police barricade in an attempt to enter the building.

The opposition legislator preferred to walk to the nearby Brickdam Police Station where he said senior officers could not state what offence he had committed, necessitating the lawmen blocking his entry.

The PPP said that it intends to take legal action against all those involved in the detention of Edghill, both in their private and professional capacity.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, the PSC said that “the involvement of law enforcement, apart from being an unacceptable overreaction, is an unfortunate occurrence.

“It does not augur well for our democracy. Any such display of lawlessness should never reoccur,” the PSC said, appealing for patience and understanding by both government and opposition legislators.

The private sector organisation said lawmakers must be allowed to have necessary discussions on the budget.

“The Private Sector Commission believes that, in the interest of the nation, parliamentarians have a right to seek clarification and a full understanding of the budget as approved by Parliament.”

The PSC expressed “great concern” at the events in the Chamber on Monday, noting that the objective of Parliament is to allow the deliberation on questions of interest to the nation and to arrive at the will of the Assembly in a civilized manner.

“The Private Sector Commission firmly believes that Parliament is the forum where its members must be free to challenge each other, including the Honourable Speaker, as they pursue the relentless representation of the people of Guyana,” the PSC said.

But it said legislators if they abuse their privileges when seated in the House, “are subject to disciplinary action as determined by the Speaker in consultation with the Privileges Committee.”

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Dec 13, CMC – The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has criticised the decision to call out police officers to remove an opposition legislator from the Parliament building on Tuesday saying the issue “does not augur well for our democracy”.

Opposition legislator Bishop Juan Edghill was Tuesday suspended from four sittings of the National Assembly after the government used its majority to table and pass a motion suspending him for his “gross misconduct” during the Monday’s sitting of the Assembly.

PSCMembers of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) later walked out in solidarity with Edghill, who on Tuesday had defied by the Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland that he be removed from the Chamber.

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Edghill, who was prevented from entering the Parliament building by police officers, was arrested after he went pass a police barricade in an attempt to enter the building.

The opposition legislator preferred to walk to the nearby Brickdam Police Station where he said senior officers could not state what offence he had committed, necessitating the lawmen blocking his entry.

The PPP said that it intends to take legal action against all those involved in the detention of Edghill, both in their private and professional capacity.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, the PSC said that “the involvement of law enforcement, apart from being an unacceptable overreaction, is an unfortunate occurrence.

“It does not augur well for our democracy. Any such display of lawlessness should never reoccur,” the PSC said, appealing for patience and understanding by both government and opposition legislators.

The private sector organisation said lawmakers must be allowed to have necessary discussions on the budget.

“The Private Sector Commission believes that, in the interest of the nation, parliamentarians have a right to seek clarification and a full understanding of the budget as approved by Parliament.”

The PSC expressed “great concern” at the events in the Chamber on Monday, noting that the objective of Parliament is to allow the deliberation on questions of interest to the nation and to arrive at the will of the Assembly in a civilized manner.

“The Private Sector Commission firmly believes that Parliament is the forum where its members must be free to challenge each other, including the Honourable Speaker, as they pursue the relentless representation of the people of Guyana,” the PSC said.

But it said legislators if they abuse their privileges when seated in the House, “are subject to disciplinary action as determined by the Speaker in consultation with the Privileges Committee.”