National Assembly
12th Parliament of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Coat of arms of Guyana.svg
Logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Leader of the Opposition
Structure
Seats65
National Assembly Seat Distribution - Guyana.svg
Political groups
Government
  •   People's Progressive Party (33)

Official Opposition

Other opposition

Elections
Proportional representation
Last election
2 March 2020
Next election
2025
Meeting place
Parliament Georgetown Guyana.JPG
Parliament Building
Georgetown, Guyana
Website
National Assembly

Coordinates: 06°48′31″N 58°10′00″W / 6.80861°N 58.16667°W / 6.80861; -58.16667

The National Assembly is one of the two components of the Parliament of Guyana. Under Article 51 of the Constitution of Guyana, the Parliament of Guyana consists of the President and the National Assembly.[3] The National Assembly has 65 members elected using the system of proportional representation. Twenty five are elected from the ten geographical constituencies and forty are awarded at the national level on the basis of block votes secured, using the LR-Hare Formula as prescribed by the elections Laws (Amendment) Act 15 of 2000 (Sections 11 and 12).[4]

The National Assembly is presided over by the Speaker who may be elected from the members of the National Assembly or from outside the membership. Speakers elected from outside the membership of the National Assembly do not have an original or casting vote. Where a question put before the National Assembly results in the votes by the members being equally divided and the sitting is presided over by a Speaker who does not have an original or casting vote, the constitution stipulates that the question does not pass or carry.[5] The members also elect a Deputy Speaker from among their membership.[6]

Composition

Quorum

Under Article 169 of the constitution, a minimum of one-third of the elected members (excluding the person presiding) is required to be present for there to be a quorum enabling the sitting of the National Assembly to proceed.[7]

Meeting Place

The National Assembly has traditionally met in the Parliament Chambers located within the Public Buildings (often referred to as Parliament Building). The President may, by proclamation, designate any other venue as the meeting place of the National Assembly, for any duration. This was recently done in 2020 when President Irfaan Ali issued a proclamation designating that the National Assembly meet at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and the limited space in the Parliament Chamber which was not conducive to ensuring proper social distancing.[8]

The predominant colour of the seats and carpet in the Parliament Chamber is green, reflecting the traditional colour of the elected House of Commons in the UK. This tradition is also replicated in the elected houses of various Commonwealth Caribbean legislatures including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados.

The most prominent feature in the chamber is the ornate ceiling by architect Cesar Castellani.[9]

Parliamentary Term

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 70(3) of the constitution, the duration of the parliamentary term shall be for five years from the date the National Assembly, under the new Parliament, first meets after having been dissolved for a general election. The National Assembly is summoned to its first sitting of the parliamentary term by a proclamation by the President which designates the date, time, and venue of the sittings.[10]

The parliamentary term may, however, be longer or shorter depending on the circumstances which require either action. The President may at any time dissolve the National Assembly before the fifth year of its current term to make way for fresh elections. The President must also constitutionally dissolve the National Assembly after successful No-Confidence motion against the government[11] in order for new elections to be held within three months from the date the motion passes.[12]

The constitution also provides that the term of the National Assembly be extended in the event a state of war or emergency exists. However such extensions are limited to twelve months for each instance for a maximum of five instances. The President may also prorogue the National Assembly,[13] however, the constitution provides that each prorogation lasts for a period of six months.

Legislation

Any member of the National Assembly may introduce a bill for the consideration of the assembly. All bills which deal with the finances or financial obligations of the government must receive the permission of the Cabinet, communicated by a Minister before it can be introduced into the National Assembly.[14]

The constitution allows the National Assembly to regulate its own procedure, which is done by the Standing Orders of the National Assembly. The Standing Orders were last amended in 2011 after extensive referral to the Special Select Committee on the Report of the Draft Standing Orders over a four-year period.[15]

All bills must receive the assent of the President before they become law. The President may only refuse assent to a bill once and must do so with reasons noted to the Speaker of the National Assembly within 21 days of the bill being presented for assent.[7]

Within six months of the bill being returned, the National Assembly may by a vote of two-thirds of the elected members resolve that the bill be presented again to the President for assent. The President shall then give assent to the bill within ninety days of receiving the bill a second time.[7]

Assented bills which have become law are numbered sequentially by year (eg. Act No. 1 of 2020), sealed with the Seal of the Republic of Guyana, and are subsequently published in the Official Gazette of Guyana.[16]

Enactment Clause

"Enacted by the Parliament of Guyana:—"

Latest elections

General Elections (Parliamentary, Presidential, and for the members of the 10 Regional Democratic Councils) were held on 2 March 2020. The next elections are constitutionally due by 2025.

Current members

The current members of the National Assembly for the Twelfth Parliament are:[17]

Speaker

Name Incumbent since
Manzoor Nadir 1 September 2020

Government Members

Name Party List Constituency/Notes
Frank C. S. Anthony PPP/C National Top-Up
Vickram Bharrat PPP/C National Top-Up
Sanjeev Datadin PPP/C National Top-Up
Juan A. Edghill PPP/C National Top-Up
Yvonne Fredericks-Pearson PPP/C National Top-Up
Joseph Hamilton PPP/C National Top-Up
Deodat Indar PPP/C National Top-Up
Bharrat Jagdeo PPP/C National Top-Up
Warren Kwame McCoy PPP/C National Top-Up
Mohabir Anil Nandlall PPP/C National Top-Up
Seepaul Narine PPP/C National Top-Up
Savitri Sonia Parag PPP/C National Top-Up
Anand Persaud PPP/C National Top-Up
Mark Phillips PPP/C National Top-Up
Bheri Ramsaran PPP/C National Top-Up
Charles S. Ramson PPP/C National Top-Up
Dharamkumar Seeraj PPP/C National Top-Up
Pauline Sukhai PPP/C National Top-Up
Bhagmattie Veerasammy PPP/C National Top-Up
Jennifer Westford PPP/C National Top-Up
Lee Williams PPP/C National Top-Up
Collin Coral PPP/C Region 1
Nigel Dharamlall PPP/C Region 2
Priya Manickchand PPP/C Region 3
Tandika Smith PPP/C Region 3
Vindhya Persaud PPP/C Region 4
Susan Rodrigues PPP/C Region 4
Hugh Todd PPP/C Region 4
Fizal Jaffarally PPP/C Region 5
Vishwa Mahadeo PPP/C Region 6
Zukfikar Mustapha PPP/C Region 6
Gail Teixeira PPP/C Region 7
Alister Charlie PPP/C Region 9
Robeson Benn n/a[18] Non-Elected Minister
Oneidge Walrond Allicock n/a[19] Non-Elected Minister
Ashni Singh n/a[20] Non-Elected Minister
Sarah Browne[21] n/a[22] Non-Elected Parliamentary Secretary (Amerindian Affairs)
Vickash Ramkissoon[23] n/a[24] Non-Elected Parliamentary Secretary (Agriculture)

Opposition Members

Name Party List Constituency/Notes
Geeta Chandan-Edmond APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Karen Cummings APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Sherod Duncan APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Annette Ferguson APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Juretha Fernandes APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Roysdale Forde APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Joseph Harmon APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Nicolette Henry APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Vincent Henry APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Christopher Jones APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Coretta McDonald APNU/AFC National Top-Up
David Patterson APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Haimraj Rajkumar APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Khemraj Ramjattan APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Tabitha Sarabo-Halley APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Natasha Singh-Lewis APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Raphael Trotman APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Amanza Walton-Desir APNU/AFC National Top-Up
Ronald Cox APNU/AFC Region 1
Shurwayne Holder APNU/AFC Region 2
Ganesh Mahipaul APNU/AFC Region 3
Nima Flue-Bess APNU/AFC Region 4
Catherine Hughes APNU/AFC Region 4
Maureen Philadelphia APNU/AFC Region 4
Deonarine Ramsaroop APNU/AFC Region 4
Vinceroy Jordan APNU/AFC Region 5
Dineshwar Nand Jaiprashad APNU/AFC Region 6
Dawn Hastings-Williams APNU/AFC Region 7
Richard Sinclair APNU/AFC Region 8
Jermaine Figueira APNU/AFC Region 10
Devin Sears APNU/AFC Region 10
Lenox Shuman LJP/ANUG/TNM National Top-Up. (Elected Deputy Speaker[25])

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Nadir promises to be fair, impartial as Speaker". Newsroom Guyana. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Harmon offers 'critical support' for Gov't but says 'not business as usual'". Newsroom Guyana. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  3. ^ Constitution 2012, p. 44.
  4. ^ Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), http://www.gecom.org.gy/faq.html Archived 2017-09-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Constitution 2012, p. 139.
  6. ^ Constitution 2012, p. 46.
  7. ^ a b c Constitution 2012, p. 140.
  8. ^ https://officialgazette.gov.gy/images/gazette2020/aug/Extra_28AUGUST2020Proc1of2020.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  9. ^ "Public Buildings (Parliament Building) 1800's ceiling". National Trust of Guyana. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  10. ^ Constitution 2012, pp. 49–50.
  11. ^ Constitution 2012, p. 60.
  12. ^ Constitution 2012, p. 61.
  13. ^ https://parliament.gov.gy/documents/proclamations/2686-proclamation_to_prorogue_parliament_2014.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  14. ^ http://parliament.gov.gy/constitution.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  15. ^ http://parliament.gov.gy/Standing%20Orders%20of%20the%20National%20Assembly%20-%202014.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  16. ^ http://parliament.gov.gy/new2/documents/acts/11583-act_no_24_of_1970-_court_of_appeal_(constitution).pdf[bare URL PDF]
  17. ^ https://officialgazette.gov.gy/images/gazette2020/aug/Extra_20AUGUST2020RecOrd60.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  18. ^ Did not appear on the PPP/C list of candidates
  19. ^ Did not appear on the PPP/C list of candidates
  20. ^ Did not appear on the PPP/C list of candidates
  21. ^ "Two parliamentary secretaries appointed". 16 September 2020.
  22. ^ Did not appear on the PPP/C list of candidates
  23. ^ "Two parliamentary secretaries appointed". 16 September 2020.
  24. ^ Did not appear on the PPP/C list of candidates
  25. ^ "Shuman declared Deputy Speaker of the House". September 2020.

Bibliography