The Alliance For Change (AFC) has made good of its promise to file a No Confidence Motion against the Guyana Government which if approved, will force Head of State, President Donald Ramotar to call fresh General Elections.
In a history making moment, the AFC’s General Secretary, David Patterson, accompanied by Treasurer Dominic Gaskin, delivered the Motion to Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs.
Patterson subsequently told this publication that the party would like to see the Motion debated and voted on as soon as possible.
A Partnership for National Unity has already signaled its intention to support the Motion.
The historic Motion is one line: “Be it resolved that this National Assembly has no confidence in the Government.” It was proposed by the party’s Vice Chairman, Moses Nagamootoo and seconded by Member of Parliament, Catherine Hughes.
Patterson told media operatives that the Clerk indicated to him that the Motion has a gestation period of 12 days after he would have pronounced on it. He said that at the expiration of the gestation period the Speaker of the House, Raphael Trotman, will advise on which date it can be debated.
Parliament goes into recess on August 10, but according to Patterson, while this is likely, there is a possibility of the Speaker calling an extraordinary sitting if the matter is deemed urgent enough. Should this happen, the AFC General Secretary said that all of his party’s Members of Parliament will be available for the debate.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, upon receipt of the no confidence motion, immediately began researching the required material and told media operatives that the move by the AFC is catered for in the Constitution of Guyana. He said that the Motion, despite the fact that no such attempt has ever been made in Guyana’s history, will be treated as a normal Motion.
As it relates to when the Motion could be debated, Isaacs noted that while the Standing Orders dictate that it must be published for 12 days, this requirement can be suspended. He said too that with the consent of the Speaker and the majority of votes, the days can be reduced.
Isaacs pointed out that prior to any sitting of the House, its Members should be given six days’ clear notice, but if it is represented to the Speaker as a matter of urgency and important enough reasons are given, then a special sitting can be called to discuss the matter.
“It is the Speaker’s call as far as I am concerned,” said Isaacs.
Talk of a no-confidence motion against the PPP government has lingered for months until recently, with the incumbent party telling the combined opposition to ‘put up or shut up’. The PPP’s General Secretary Clement Rohee had challenged the Opposition parties to “demonstrate their testicular capacity by giving effect to their stated desire for a no-confidence motion in parliament, failing which they should shut up and forever hold their peace.”
The Combined Opposition, which gained a one-seat majority over the PPP government that has been in power for the past 22 years, has expressed repeated disappointment in the administration, whom they claim has been involved in financial impropriety and failed to adhere to decisions of the House of Parliament among other things.
The AFC had indicated its move to the no-confidence motion against the PPP government since all of the changes that it bargained for in the development of the country have not been given an ear by the administration. The Finance Minister’s “violation of the law” by spending $4.5B of monies not approved by the National Assembly in the 2014 budget, among other issues, also fuelled the no-confidence motion.
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