31st of December, 2021. Georgetown, Guyana, South AmericaLast updated: January 2, 2022 at 13:20 pm
In 1991, a similar event to what took place in Parliament on the 29th of December, 2021 had unraveled. But at that time, it was the PPP Parliamentarians who were causing the uproar. The PPP Parliamentarians were at that time trying to halt the passage of a bill that would extend the life of parliament and delay elections. This was distasteful to the PPP who were set to win the upcoming elections and assume power after 28 years of PNC dictatorship.
Presidential Candidate of the PPP, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, was being ignored by the speaker, Narain, when he (Jagan) abruptly stood up to speak during the presentation of the bill. This infuriated Jagan who banged loudly and consistently on his desk drawing backup from fellow PPP parliamentarians. Jagan reportedly flung lawbooks and a water pitcher to the floor, and hurled personal insults at the Speaker, Narain, who then instructed the media not to carry the insults in the press.
PPP MP, Isahak Basir, then flung an empty water glass in the direction of the speaker which did not hit him but bounded off about 1 foot away from the speaker and fell the floor. Basir then walked over to the Speaker, picked up the ceremonial mace, handed it to Jagan and told him to speak since he now has the authority to speak.
The PPP had succeeded in disrupting the Parliamentary session, but the actions of Basir in desecrating the mace did not go unpunished. Isahak Basir was subsequently expelled from Parliament for his contrary behavior.
On the 29th of December, 2029, APNU/AFC parliamentarians grabbed the mace and attempted to run away with it in a failed bid to stop the passage of the National Resource Funds Bill No. 21 of 2021. This resulted in an unprecedented upheaval of parliament which saw a parliamentary staff thrown to the ground, kicked on his ribs, and insulted by APNU/AFC parliamentarians who hurled racial slurs at him while he resolutely protected the mace from being hijacked.
The question now arises: What will be the consequences of these lawless and unbecoming actions carried out by these APNU/AFC Parliamentarians, and what message will the judiciary send to those who may consider engaging in similar actions in the future?
Related: The Significance of the Mace