Saturday, Aug 18th

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Editorial - Deadlocked for now

Anybody expecting that the Parliament session on Tuesday to elect a new President and two Vice-Presidents might lead to some breakthrough in the current constitutional impasse between the new majority and the Gumbs cabinet was disappointed. Although both President Dr. Lloyd Richardson and First Vice-President Leona Marlin-Romeo had publicly made their positions available, they were not present and Second Vice-President Cornelius de Weever, part of the same former UP-led coalition, closed the proceedings as soon as they had begun, saying he needed legal clarification due to the Council of Ministers having passed a national decree to dissolve the legislature and hold snap elections.

The incoming NA/DP/UPS/Matser/Lake coalition did not appreciate this and called for an urgent new meeting about De Weever’s “illegal act” and its impact on the country’s democratic representation. Meanwhile, a peaceful demonstration by those who support allowing the formation of a new Government was announced for today, Wednesday.

Amidst all of this came the invitation for the various parliamentary fraction leaders to meet with the current cabinet starting this morning in an effort to resolve the crisis. Judging from the press release they are to do so separately, which could be a contributing factor.

However, people should not get their hopes up, because the only tangible compromise so far offered by DP leader Sarah Wescot-Williams to let the majority install a Government for a one-year term and then have early elections was not picked up on by others. Unless the Kingdom Council of Ministers is asked by Governor Eugene Holiday to annul the dissolution decree and does so, the political stalemate is likely to remain for now.