APNU laments limitations in decision-making processes
By Gary Eleazar
As intimated earlier by second in command of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, the continued rejection of the opposition’s demands will force the masses back into the streets.
This was expanded on yesterday by Dr Roopnarine’s party colleague, Dr. David Hinds.
Dr. Hinds was speaking at a press engagement where the coalition leader was weighing in on the achievements of the Partnership, as it marks its one year anniversary.
Dr. Hinds told the media yesterday that “there are obvious limitations to a majority in Parliament if you don’t control the executive.” He said, however, that the WPA rejects the view that there are only two avenues available.
The APNU official was speaking to the fact of heading back to the polls or to continue to be confined.
“Key to the forward movement would be for APNU to make good on its campaign theme, which was a government of national reform.”
This, he said, would require constitutional reform, and he suggested that going back to the polls with the same rules, “will get the same results…either the PPP controls everything and splits it, or the APNU controls everything and splits it.”
He suggested that with constitutional reform in place, regardless of the result of the next election there will be a government of national unity.
Confronted with the fact that APNU will have to get the support of the PPP/C for Constitutional Reform, which is unlikely, Dr Hinds responded “we don’t know that’s not going to happen…all things are possible in politics.”
He reminded that the life of the 10th Parliament is only a few months old and the partnership had focused heavily on the Budget.
Dr. Hinds insisted that APNU is carrying out its mandate, “we are working and stretching the limits of Parliament and the Government is responding in a particular way.”
The WPA co-leader told members of the media that the actions of the opposition will ultimately be decided by the Government.
“We are doing what we are constitutionally mandated to do and we are doing that to the best of our ability…the government keeps reacting,” he said.
He was adamant that the extra-parliamentary activities that Dr. Roopnarine had alluded to “will be determined not by us sitting around a table, but by the government’s continued rejection of our reasonable engagement with them.”
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Robert Corbin, who was on hand at the press engagement, and in seeking to point out the limitations of the Opposition, said that “people wanted a change… they expected the APNU to win, APNU did not win and the government of the PPP controls the Executive and the decision making.”
He pointed to the Court move by Attorney General Anil Nandlall, with respect to the budget cuts, and said that it illustrates that the Government “can still defy in some respects as they are doing at the moment, some of the decisions of the Legislature.”
He explained that in Guyana’s case where there are three arms of Government there will be the conflicting situations as is the current case.
“Government is not just the Parliament; there is the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.”
Corbin added also that “the real answer to the problem lies in controlling the Executive, and we have failed to do so.”
He said that while the Combined Opposition may control the Legislature, “you still have the President doing all that he wants to do, and the only answer to that is to control the Executive.”
Speaking to the issue of a ‘No Confidence Motion’ in the Government, Corbin told the media that that “does not immediately solve the problem of Guyana.”
He said that what has to be done is to ensure that there is in place the necessary kind of alliance required for an election.
A successful motion of no confidence in the Government can essentially force Head of State, Donald Ramotar to call fresh elections.
“Once you talk of no confidence, you expect to succeed, and it is not just a political gimmick you are trying….if you are dealing with real politics, then you have to think of political organization for the next elections to ensure that you capture those arms of government, both the Executive and the Legislature.”
Confronted again with the notion of a No Confidence Motion in the Government by the Opposition, the Coalition Leader Brigadier (ret.) David Granger said “we are not the Executive and there are certain limitations on what we can do in the National Assembly.”
Granger says that the party has been using the resources available to it through the Parliamentary Committees and collaborations with the Alliance for Change (AFC) in order to bring about results “favourable to the partnership.”
He says that while there are limitations, “we are working in the tri-partite process…we haven’t abandoned that process although we feel that we have not progressed as far as we should have.”