The statement issued by the Bar Council of the Guyana Bar Association during last week quoted a dictum of the Chief Justice (ag) in the case of Attorney General of Guyana v Dr. Barton Scotland, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo and Mr. Joseph Harmonas follows: “I hold that the NCM [no confidence motion] was carried as the requisite majority was obtained by a vote of 33:32. The President and the Ministers cannot therefore remain in Government beyond the three months within which elections are required to be held in accordance with art 106(7), unless that time is enlarged by the National Assembly in accordance with the requirements of the said art 106(7). 

President Granger responded at a political rally at Vreed-en-Hoop, that he remains President until a new president is sworn in. The President made no reference to elections. Minister Harmon clarified on Friday afternoon that a date will be fixed for elections when the court cases are completed. He gave no indication that the March 21 deadline for the Government to remain in office will be adhered to. It therefore appears that the Government intends to remain in office, even after March 21, if the cases are not over, which is very likely. After March 21, the Government will be illegal. It will not be entitled to hold office, not entitled to make decisions, not entitled to enter contracts, not entitled to convene the National Assembly, not entitled to pass laws and not entitled to fix a date for elections.

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No matter how often it happens, no matter how much our ears become attuned to the ring of abuse in politics, Guyanese must never allow themselves to become accustomed to it or to be entrapped by it, and to succumb to the temptation of silence. The degeneracy of political and personal abuse has become the hallmark of the PPP’s methodology of political discourse.

Unless it stops, it will intimidate most into silence. For the few who are remain courageous enough, they will have to live, as many now do, with a constant, daily, stream of invective about their public and private lives and activities that defies any sense of rationality or decency.  Little do the perpetrators understand that it is they, not the victims, who the degradation eventually consumes. Cheddi Jagan suffered a lifetime of humiliation and abuse. So intense it was, and over so many decades, that it tempted good people to say that history would not have been kind to him. The opposite has happened.   

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