30th of December, 2021. Georgetown, Guyana, South AmericaLast updated: December 30, 2021 at 11:51 am
Yesterday, 29th of December, 2021, APNU/AFC Members of Parliament put up a racket during the 34th sitting of the 12th Parliament convened at the Arthur Chung Convention Center in Region 4, Guyana, South America.
While the clown show unfolded inside the building, anti-government protestors peacefully held placards and chanted outside. They were trying to stop the passage of the Natural Resource Fund bill drafted by the PPP/C government which they say will give the President and Vice-President too much leeway to steal Guyana’s oil revenues.
The bill was debated without incident for a while until the upheaval by mainly APNU/AFC parliamentarians who started to march around blowing whistles and chanting into the faces of government MPs shouting something to the effect of “No Thieving Bill!”
A video circulated on Social Media shows APNU/AFC parliamentarians scrambling the speaker’s mace and attempting to run away with it. However, it is not clear how far they would have gone with it or what was the ultimate plan. Nevertheless, the objective seems to have been to disrupt the parliamentary process so that the bill could not be passed. Passed down through British tradition, the speaker’s mace carries inestimable symbolic value and must be at its rightful place and positioned correctly while parliament is in session.
A parliament staff, shown in the photo below, wrestled the mace from the hands of the APNU/AFC MPs and clutched it between his legs while lying on the ground to prevent it from being hijacked. An APNU/AFC MP was caught on video pointing at the young man, who is of African descent, and shouting, “House Negro! House Negro!”
Meanwhile, the government has announced today that, “despite the Opposition’s despicable and reprehensible behaviour to block its passage in the Parliament,” the Natural Resource Funds Bill No. 21 of 2021 has been passed in the National Assembly of Guyana on the 29th of December, 2021.
Some APNU/AFC MPs have indicated that they will contest the authenticity of the bill in court since the mace was not in place at the time when it was passed. However, Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, in a press release, stated that, “the mace was in place at the time when the question was put to the house and the vote taken.”
Whatever the case may be, if the APNU/AFC moves to court to contest the authenticity of the bill on the premise of where the mace was at the time, they will have a hard time justifying why their parliamentarians removed the mace in the first place.
As you can see from the video above, a female parliamentarian exclaimed “What’s this!” in astonishment as APNU/AFC parliamentarians scrambled the speaker’s mace.
Another video shows APNU/AFC parliamentarians blowing whistles and chanting, “No Thieving Bill.”