MINISTER of Public Telecommunication Cathy Hughes is urging Guyanese to rid themselves of the “racial intolerance” and “undertones” that have erupted primarily on social media since the issue of the no-confidence motion.
On the National Communications Network (NCN) radio programme, ‘Let’s Gaff’ on Monday, the minister opened up about her take on this “period of uncertainty” which ensued on December 21, 2018.
“One of the things I would urge Guyanese [to do] is to be patient. I am most distressed at the racial undertones that we are seeing especially on Facebook, on social media, where we are attacking people—personal attacks—and that I find is totally unacceptable.
“The racial slurs, the agenda that says ‘black people can’t run a government and they got to get out’; the similarly negative terms ‘coolie people behaving like that’, that’s not what we are as people. I feel very strongly about that,” Hughes said.
She added that the roots of her family, being one that is grounded in every race in Guyana, further compels her to speak up against such acts of “racial intolerance” which will forever be unbeneficial for the country.
“My urge and my plea is: Guyana, we are bigger than that and we must not let any political organisation take us down that route of racial intolerance. It will only lead to destruction,” Hughes began.
“As individual Guyanese we have to stand tall and say ‘we must not, we will not go down that road. We have too much to offer this world and to offer ourselves’.”
Asked to speak on the government’s position moving forward, Hughes said that she believes that Guyana needs to have a “legal position” regarding how no-confidence motions are dealt with since it is presently open to more than one interpretation.
“We have submitted an interpretation to the Speaker of the House, the Speaker will look at it, he will, I suppose rule on it. He has said that we come back on the third [of January] for him to discuss the ‘consequences’ of that vote on the 21st [of December],” she said.
Hughes stated that any Guyanese has the right to go to the courts for an interpretation on the motion and although some are referring to this option as “undemocratic”, the court, nonetheless, remains the highest decision making body.
Speaking further she stated that the opposition has made full use of the courts in the past to contest certain aspects of constitution such as the third term matter which is why the coalition’s efforts now should not stupefy the opposition. “The government should have the right to take it to the courts; the local courts and then to any other courts including the Caribbean Court of Justice if they wanted to do that. That actually is the fundamental of democracy,” Hughes affirmed.
Meanwhile, she added that by the next convening of the National House of Assembly, Guyanese will know who will take up the position of former Alliance for Change (AFC) parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud.
She stated: “Charrandas has already been expelled and as the law requires we will replace him with another member of parliament. I think the person has been identified but I’m not in a position to say publically but I would say that by the 3rd [of January] the public will definitely know.”