By Zena Henry
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance For Change (AFC) have stated that they are preparing for general
polls by year-end without the privilege of being able to force the Government out by way of a no-confidence Parliamentary vote. They are taking into consideration the likelihood that the National Assembly could be dissolved before the debate and voting on the recently passed no-confidence motion.
The state newspaper recently reported that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP)’s General Secretary Clement Rohee, was the latest Government official to hint at the possibility of General Elections, ahead of a debate on the AFC’s no-confidence motion.
Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, had stated prior, that a call for snap elections from the Head of State during Parliament’s two-month recess was not impossible. He was quoted as saying that “Nothing is impossible…I don’t believe it is a question of strategy that determines the response to a no-confidence motion.”
Many are opining, however, that to avoid the humiliation of being the first administration in the history of Guyana to be voted out of office, the PPP Government will seek to call elections before the no-confidence motion could be addressed.
AFC’s General Secretary, David Patterson, recently handed over the one-line no confidence motion to the Clerk of the Assembly. He told Kaieteur News yesterday “it is quite correct that the PPP would call elections to save themselves the embarrassment of being voted out.” He told this publication that the Government has been making threats about snap elections for more than a year now, but is yet to act.
“We don’t care which way they want it (being voted out or snap elections). The faster, the better, we just want them out!”
Minister Rohee told the state newspaper that the Government is not worried about “history” or being voted out. He stated
that both options of a Parliamentary vote or snap elections are open to them. In the meantime, he said the party is continuing its work on the ground where “the people have been very receptive and receiving the message, so that when the time comes they know what to do.”
The Minister said that while snap elections remain a card in the deck, a date for the polls has not been decided.
APNU’s Communication Director, Mark Archer, explained that the Coalition has been in preparations for Local Government Elections, so its machines are “well-oiled” for any form of elections. He said despite hints of snap elections, there are no concerns on whatever avenue is taken, since, like the AFC, APNU is bent on getting the PPP out of office.
The Government was recently told by the National Assembly that the one-line no-confidence motion brought against the Administration by the AFC and supported by APNU is “properly and legally worded”. Kaieteur News was informed that the inquiries by Government agents had sought to ascertain the validity of the motion, with questions being asked as to why the motion should have only one line, that is, that the National Assembly has lost confidence in the administration.
However, no-confidence references from other countries such as India and the United Kingdom (UK) provided, showed that the motion was properly presented and that a legal challenge would be invalid.
It was for this reason, Patterson told the newspaper, that one sentence made up the content of the motion. After explaining that the motion sought to leave no room for legal intervention, he stated
“We have learnt from our experiences…We know that the Judiciary seems to be entertaining any frivolous matter.”
Since the Opposition parties have joined forces, a no-confidence vote against the PPP Government would be inevitable
since they hold the majority of seats in the National Assembly. The Government will either opt for snap elections or the no-confidence motion will go to Parliament for it to be debated and then voted upon.
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