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– AG says stance is “unfortunate”Government’s High Court challenge of the budget cuts has alarmed the National Assembly with theSpeaker, Raphael TrotmanHouse Speaker, Raphael Trotman, warning yesterday of a possible constitutional crisis, the likes of which Guyana may be unable to handle.The strongly-worded statement of the Speaker comes two days after the governing People’s Progressive Party-Civic (PPP/C) filed an ex-parte motion to have the court rule that the National Assembly has no powers to reduce or cut the allocations made in the budget to various agencies and bodies.“The continued resort to the High Court to question legitimate decisions of the National Assembly, points to the grave and gathering danger of a constitutional crisis, which has the potential to assume proportions, the like of which, the nation has never seen, and may be unable to handle,” Trotman, an attorney by profession, said yesterday.Article 51 of the Constitution of Guyana stated, “There shall be a Parliament of Guyana, which shall consist of the President and the National Assembly”.“It is pellucid that the various branches of Government were meant to work in consonance, and not in conflict, with each other. These challenges, in my humble opinion, are as unnatural and unhealthy as they are unconstitutional, and will weaken the already fragile fabric of our constitutional democracy.”But last evening, Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, expressed “profound regret” at the Speaker’s statement.“The right to seek judicial redress against any perceived legal wrong or constitutional impropriety is one that is deeply rooted and cherished in our jurisprudence and legal system.  The rule of law which ensures that all are equal in the eyes of the law and therefore, are subject to the legal process, are all fundamental pillars upon which the edifice of our legal system rests.”He insisted that if there is any violation of the law or the Constitution, any one aggrieved must have unhindered access to the courts for redress.“It is in this context that the Executive’s recourse to legal proceedings must be viewed.  It is unfortunate, that the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly perceives it through a different prism.The Executive Government’s simple contention is that the National Assembly has acted beyond, ultra vires and in breach of the Constitution, has usurped the functions of the Executive and has violated the doctrine of separation of powers upon which our Constitution is constructed and it is seeking legal redress which it is constitutionally and democratically entitled to do.”Trotman, the first opposition-nominated Speaker since the PPP/C took office in 1992, urged that despite the Government’s “seeming abhorrence to negotiations”, it is still being suggested that these are the best means to resolving our political differences.Strike downCabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon“This latest High Court action brings into question, and possible derision, the very constitutional pillars upon which our democracy is founded, as it strangely asserts that the timeless, sacred and sacrosanct function of the National Assembly to approve public spending is only perfunctory. I am confident that a properly constituted, informed, and unfettered Constitutional Court, will strike down the requests of the claimant, the Hon. Attorney General.”“Because of the supremacy of the rule of law, and not of diktat, there will be no comments on the merits or demerits of individual allegations and statements made. Suffice to say that the latest action will have to be stoutly defended as this must be seen as the constitutional and public duty of every Member of Parliament.”He challenged the government and the opposition to work to resolve the issues.“Whilst the matter ensues, and without prejudice to its outcome, the constituent parties of the National Assembly are urged to meet, speak, and sort out the issues that continue to beset the 10th Parliament.”The court matter was brought by Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, who in documents argued that no power resides in the National Assembly, either in the Committee of Supply, or at all, to move an amendment to reduce any aspect of the Annual Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure laid by the Minister of Finance. The National Assembly, he said, therefore has no power whatsoever, in proposing a new or different sum,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysnflwholesale.net/]Wholesale NFL Jerseys China[/url], or any sum at all.UsurpAccording to Dr Luncheon the two motions moved by AFC’s Khemraj Ramjattan and APNU’s Carl Greenidge, which sought to “reduce the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure laid by the Honourable Minister of Finance, and the proposals of different sums instead,[url=http://www.nfljerseyschinaoutlet.us.com/]China Jerseys[/url], amounted not only to an arrogation of powers which the Constitution does not confer upon them, but was also a usurpation of a function which the Constitution exclusively resides in the Executive, thereby,[url=http://www.cheapsoccermlsjerseys.net/]Cheap Soccer Jerseys[/url], abrogating the doctrine of separation of powers.”The opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) had used their one-seat advantage to slash more than $20B from the $191B budget presented by Government earlier this year.The two parties, in defending the cuts, insisted that the majority of the amounts represented monies that were not collected and as such should not have been there in the first place.The bodies and agencies affected were the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC),[url=http://www.cheapjerseysfromchinastore.us.com/]Cheap MLB Jerseys[/url], Government Information Agency (GINA), National Communications Network (NCN), the Low Carbon Development Strategy and the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).The matter is to come up again today.ViolatedNandlall said that it is the government’s view that the National Assembly, like every other creature of the Constitution, must act and function in the manner provided for and contemplated by the Constitution.  In this instance, the National Assembly did not, he said.“It is also quite unfortunate that the Honourable Speaker,[url=http://www.wholesalechinacheapjerseys.us.com/]Cheap NFL Jerseys[/url], an attorney-at-law, has seen it fit to conclude that the very decisions of the National Assembly which are the subject of the legal challenge are “legitimate” and that the challenge itself is “unconstitutional”,[url=http://www.wholesalejerseysshop.us.com/]Cheap NFL Jerseys Store[/url], when these are the very issues that are before the Court for the Court’s determination.By so doing, the Honourable Speaker himself has violated certain trite and axiomatic legal principles. Needless to say that the Executive remains committed to a process which would achieve consensus and avoid litigation.”

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