El Congreso de Guyana destituye al presidente Granger y se convocará a nuevas elecciones

Cae Granger: parlamento de Guyana aprueba moción de censura

Con la medida aprobada en el parlamento guyanés por el opositor Partido Progresista del Pueblo (PPP), se producirán elecciones en 90 días.

La moción de censura contra David Granger se tomó en la madrugada del sábado 22 de diciembre con 33 votos a favor y 32 en contra, refiere agencias internacionales.

Un diputado de la gubernamental Coalición para la Unidad Nacional (APNU, en inglés), Charrandass Persaud, a última hora se cambió de bando y apoyó la medida opositora.

Ese cambio inesperado rompió la mayoría mínima de la que gozaba Granger y lo forzó a convocar a elecciones en marzo que debía finalizar en 2020.

Es la primera vez que el Parlamento de Guyana llama a un voto de censura contra el jefe de Gobierno.

Cuestión petrolera

La razón esgrimida por la oposición fue el presunto desperdicio de recursos petroleros de la nación.

Guyana inició operaciones de explotación petrolífera en áreas que Venezuela reclama como propias con base en el Acuerdo de Ginebra de 1966 que invalidó el Laudo Arbitral de París de 1899, aquel que definió de forma arbitraria los límites fronterizos con la excolonia británica Guyana.

Con el Acuerdo de Ginebra, Guyana Británica reconoció el reclamo de Venezuela sobre el territorio anexado así como el área marítima.

Desde entonces ambos países decidieron aceptar el método de Buenos Oficios de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) para encontrar una solución pacífica a la disputa.

La explotación petrolera por parte de Guyana en el territorio marítimo de la zona en reclamación viola tales medidas, por lo que el Gobierno venezolano ha solicitado su paralización y activación de mecanismos diplomáticos conjuntos con mediación de la ONU para solventar las diferencias. /CP

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Just like PPP, APNU +AFC paid the price for its arrogance – Former Speaker Ralph Ramkarran

Persaud’s disappointment with his party is shared by many former supporters as their widespread abandonment of the AFC at the local government elections demonstrated – Ramkarran

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran said that he always saw the safe passage of a no-confidence motion against the APNU+AFC Government as a distinct possibility.

In a weekly column published on his blog—Conversation Tree—Ramkarran, noted “Election results mean something. In 2011, the electorate told the PPP/C that it wants that party to join in a coalition to manage the affairs of the nation. The PPP/C ignored the message. The electorate removed it from office in 2015. Then it proceeded to give the APNU+AFC coalition a mere one seat majority. This conveyed another message – that the APNU + AFC coalition government should proceed cautiously and engage with the Opposition.”

Ramkarran noted that the APNU+AFC coalition likewise ignored the message, overreached and governed as if it had a sweeping mandate. “Now, like the PPP, it has paid the price. Arrogance, meaning the ignoring of the message of the electorate, rather than humility, that is, frequent consultation with, and listening to, the concerns of supporters and backbenchers, such as Mr. Charrandas Persaud, appears to be an ingrained habit of the main political parties.”

Ramkarran recalled that an interview was given by Persaud after the vote in the National Assembly. He said that whether or not Persaud had given prior indication to the Opposition that he would support a no confidence motion, “his answers were unrehearsed and rational.”

Ramkarran noted Persaud’s mention of two occasions on which he disagreed with his party’s leadership. “But he painfully expressed the loss of any influence over what he alleged was the unilateral direction that the leadership of the AFC was taking the party, and the plight of sugar workers, who the AFC had vowed to protect, but 7,000 of whom ended up losing their jobs.”

Ramkarran said that Persaud’s disappointment with his party is shared by many former supporters as their widespread abandonment of the AFC at the local government elections demonstrated. He said that the AFC had a golden opportunity to keep its promise to the Guyanese people of holding APNU to the high standards that it said it was committed to. “But it failed to do so, to the disappointment of many, including Mr. Persaud.”

Ramkarran noted that because of Persaud’s vote, Guyana has now had two governments of the main parties whose terms lasted for only three years. He said that this reality suggests that a degree of instability has crept into the political landscape.

“It cannot be predicted whether this will continue. Even if it does, it is preferable to the 20+ year entrenchment in office that Guyana has been a victim of in the past. It is hoped that the electorate can be persuaded to consider a model whereby the main parties are kept below an absolute majority and are forced to compete for the support of smaller parties to stay in office. One party majoritarianism will not resolve the problems arising from Guyana’s ethno-politics. The electorate did not succeed in 2011 and 2015. It can still succeed if it is still motivated to hold the major parties in check,” said Ramkarran.

He noted that Guyana will be having elections in three months, with the two main parties being led by different persons—persons who are not the current heads of the parties.

Ramkarran pointed out that the PPP is in the process of selecting its presidential candidate. And, that President Granger’s chemotherapy treatment is likely to continue into and beyond the election period and the likelihood is that his recovery will not be complete by that time and he might not be able to endure the rigours of an election campaign.

Also, Ramkarran said that smaller parties, already established and soon to be established, will be gearing up within the limited time available to contest the elections and test the potential of Guyana to develop beyond the rigid ethno-political system that has dominated the country’s politics since Independence.

According to the veteran politician, it will be a matter of the “greatest interest” to observe whether the APNU+AFC (if the coalition holds) will repeat the promise of reforming the Constitution to provide for a government that includes more than a single political force.

Ramkarran said that if this promise is repeated, it will be interesting to see what guarantees are given this time around that those promises will be kept.

Further, Ramkarran said that while the PPP did not make any such promises in the 2015 election campaign, it said that it would not oppose constitutional reform. He said, “The PPP may well consider that the time has come for consideration to be given to bringing an end to one party majority rule. Every thinking Guyanese, except those active in our main political parties, is aware that the complex issues relating to the management of Guyana’s oil resources needs all hands on deck, including both political parties. The size and complexity of the tasks yet to be accomplished suggest that no single political party can satisfy the nation that their interests are being protected.

“The electorate has spoken twice, in 2011 and 2015. It has declared it preference for Guyana to start a new journey, one without the monolithic domination of one or the other major political party. Despite the suddenness with which the fall of the APNU+AFC Government took place and the limited time for new elections, it is hoped that these concerns of the electorate will be addressed in the election campaign.”

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Pres. Granger failed to deliver leadership required, allowed his ministers to ‘run wild’ – Ram

The passage of the historic No-Confidence Motion against the APNU+AFC administration does not come as a surprise to many local analysts. On Saturday for example, Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds opined that the Motion’s success exposed the deteriorating relations within the coalition party. But Chartered Accountant, Chris Ram, who agrees implicitly with that point, took it a little further.

For him, it was President David Granger’s failure to deliver the leadership needed by the country and his Party which should be blamed.

Ram said, “The Head of State offered very little leadership and he allowed some of his ministers to run uncontrolled. He also failed to deliver on some of the commitments he made (such as fixing Campaign Financing Laws, ensuring Constitutional Reform and establishing an Investigative Commission on Corruption). And he swore to uphold the Constitution and I can’t say that he has an extremely positive track record in this regard…”.

The Chartered Accountant stressed that at some point, Granger and the rest of the APNU+AFC leadership have to take responsibility.

He added, too, that whatever one might think of the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, it is undeniable that the timing of his move for a No-Confidence Motion showed some political cunning if not genius.

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE

Since former AFC Member, Charandass Persaud gave his support to the Opposition’s No-Confidence Motion on Friday; the debate has been unending about what his move means for coalition politics in Guyana, among other things.

Ram insists however that a vote of No-Confidence is part of the democratic process and the nation should be celebrating this.

He said, “We should be celebrating the fact that as a country, we are mature enough to have a government removed by a vote of no confidence and it has been accepted. Despite all the fears which have been expressed, I think that is a highly positive development.”

He added, “Now the nation will be looking to them (the government) to carry through their announcement of abiding by the decision of the National Assembly and holding elections in 90 days time. I think the fact that it has accepted the decision without demurring in any way is positive…”

ELECTIONS IN THREE MONTHS

On Saturday, President David Granger by way of a statement to the media said that his government will abide by the Constitution which requires elections in three months.

Article 106 (7) of the Constitution of Guyana states, “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the elections.”

The Head of State also made it clear that his government will embark on discussions with its coalition partners, the Alliance For Change (AFC) and those who are part of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

“We will do everything necessary to facilitate the smooth functioning of General and Regional Elections, bearing in mind the need for normal governmental functions to continue uninterrupted,” President Granger said.

The President said, too, that he is anxious to engage Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, on any concerns he may have. He assured the Guyanese people “that this is not a crisis, which could dissolve into any type of confrontation.”

“Mr. Jagdeo contacted the Minister of State and a meeting will be arranged as early as possible so that his concerns can be addressed,” the Head of State added.

The President added, “This is a constitutional process, which can have favourable outcomes for the nation… There is no cause for alarm and there are no grounds for any form of disorder. We will continue to work to provide a good government and deliver public services to the people and to work even more closely with the opposition”.

President Granger disclosed, too, that he met with some Ministers yesterday morning. These will henceforth be engaging the AFC ministers, he added.

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Venezuela: el Gobierno exigió a Guyana “respeto” por la soberanía

El Gobierno nacional exigió este domingo a Guyana el respeto de su soberanía luego de la incursión de dos buques contratados por la ExxonMobil en aguas jurisdiccionales, indicó el canciller de la República, Jorge Arreaza, a través de su cuenta en Twitter.

“Ante la flagrante violación de nuestra soberanía por parte de buques de exploración petrolera contratados por Guyana, la Armada Bolivariana procedió a aplicar los protocolos correspondientes con estricto rigor y apego a los acuerdos y tratados internacionales”, escribió el canciller.

Arreaza compartió un comunicado oficial donde se expone que Venezuela “ha trasladado la correspondiente nota de protesta al gobierno de la República Cooperativa de Guyana ante esta inaceptable violación a la soberanía nacional”.

Asimismo, la misiva insta a Guyana a restablecer el diálogo directo con las autoridades venezolanas, sobre la “flagrante violación” a la soberanía.

El sábado una embarcación de la marina venezolana se aproximó a un buque de investigación sísmica contratado por ExxonMobil frente a las costas de Guyana.

El Ministerio de Exteriores guyanés calificó la acción de Venezuela como una “incursión peligrosa en aguas locales”, luego de que el buque noruego contratado por ExxonMobil fuese interceptado por una embarcación de la armada venezolana.

El Gobierno de Guyana consideró que la acción de Venezuela fue un “acto ilegal, agresivo y hostil” que “una vez más demuestra una amenaza real al desarrollo económico de Guyana por parte de su vecino occidental”.

A continuación el comunicado íntegro del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Venezuela

El Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela informa a la comunidad nacional e internacional que la Armada Nacional Bolivariana, realizando su acostumbrado patrullaje por la fachada atlántica venezolana, correspondiente al día 22/12/2018, a cargo del Patrullero Oceánico Kariña (PO-14), divisó la presencia inédita en aguas jurisdiccionales de Venezuela de dos buques de exploración sísmica, RAMFOR de bandera Bahamas y DELTA MONARCH de bandera Trinidad y Tobago, ambos contratados por la transnacional ExxonMobil. Los buques referidos se encontraban en las coordenadas Latitud 09° 17′ 4″N Longitud 058°15′ 7″ W y Latitud 09° 15′ 0″ Longitud 058° 17′ 3″W, en la proyección marítima del Delta del Orinoco de indubitable soberanía de Venezuela.

Ante esta flagrante violación de la soberanía se procedió a aplicar los protocolos internacionales correspondientes a este tipo de hechos y salvaguardar la soberanía nacional con estricto apego a los acuerdos y tratados internacionales.

Resulta importante destacar que en el intercambio de comunicación con los capitanes de los buques de exploración, éstos arguyeron disponer de un permiso del gobierno de la República Cooperativa de Guyana para operar en dicho espacio marítimo. Se procedió a informarles que dicho país no tiene jurisdicción en la proyección marítima del Delta del Orinoco, en razón de lo cual levantaron la faena y navegaron hacia aguas de la extensa zona en reclamación que proyecta la costa Esequiba.

El Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela ha informado al Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas y trasladado la correspondiente nota de protesta al gobierno de la República Cooperativa de Guyana ante esta inaceptable violación a la soberanía nacional que, mucho más allá de la controversia territorial sobre la Guayana Esequiba, ha traspasado con esta inédita incursión todos los límites, al pretender disponer de espacios marítimos de la proyección del Delta Amacuro, de indudable soberanía venezolana.

El Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela con base en la Diplomacia Bolivariana de Paz, reitera a la República Cooperativa de Guyana el llamado a restablecer el diálogo directo y respetuoso sobre esta sensible materia, a la vez que garantiza su firme determinación de defender la soberanía territorial de la República y los intereses del Pueblo venezolano con base en el más escrupuloso respeto del Derecho Internacional.

Caracas, 23 de diciembre de 2018

El Universal


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