“It is time that the PPP be made to confront their atrocities” – AFC
By Gary Eleazar
While the political opposition appears set on approving a no confidence motion against
the current administration on Monday, the President’s threat of proroguing Parliament until further notice has been greeted as a form of political blackmail that would effectively lead to an extension of its term in office, this time with the absence of any Parliamentary scrutiny.
At least this is the view held by the mover of the unprecedented motion, Alliance For Change (AFC) Vice Chairman, Moses Nagamootoo, who yesterday met with media operatives at the Campbell Room of the Georgetown Club and roundly criticized Head of the State Donald Ramotar, over his warning.
To prorogue Parliament, would mean an executive decision to halt the meetings of the National Assembly without actually dissolving it.
An animated Nagamootoo yesterday told media operatives that for the President to prorogue Parliament rather than face the AFC’s No-Confidence Motion is disingenuous, cunning and shows that the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) will resort to any devious method to extend its minority rule for as long as possible.
Nagamootoo, himself a former PPP member, said Guyanese must be made aware of the fact that, that should the President prorogue Parliament, he would not be duty bound to call new elections. Elections are only due after Parliament is dissolved.
Nagamootoo explained further that the President can prorogue Parliament for as long as six months during which time the PPP Government would not be responsible to the National Assembly and “they could continue to dip their fingers in the Treasury”.
Following the six months, the President would be free to reconvene the Assembly and, if still faced with the No Confidence Motion, he may then dissolve Parliament.
“That would give him three months within which to hold an election…By proroguing Parliament, President Ramotar would be securing nine months for his government without any Parliamentary sitting and without any scrutiny.”
According to Nagamootoo, this is the devious plan of the Ramotar administration.
Nagamootoo insisted that Guyanese have now been put on their guard that “our country would then enter into an extra-parliamentary dictatorship.”
He reminded, too, that the British practice of proroguing a session and opening a new session once every year was carried out in Guyana, but the practice faded out years ago “and we have reached the stage where Parliament is now no longer prorogued during its life…Only a Government that is frightened of its own people would desecrate and suspend Parliament.”
Nagamootoo is of the firm view that the PPP is aware that its abuse of the Constitution and the public’s purse have placed it in a position where the people have lost all confidence in the administration’s ability to govern in the best interest of the nation.
“It is time that the PPP be made to confront their atrocities…We demand that the PPP either debate the No Confidence Motion or dissolve Parliament…Either way, the PPP must face the electorate in General Elections.”
Given the uncertainty of what obtains between now and Monday’s sitting of the National Assembly, the AFC’s Vice Chairman announced that come today, it will be holding a summit with its Parliamentary Opposition counterparts, A Partnership for National Unity, in order to fine tune strategies in face of the threat of a prorogued Parliament.
Pressed with the possibility of the President actually making good on his threat, Nagamootoo said that since the country will then be under the rule of an executive order in an extra-parliamentary fashion, the opposition and Guyanese people will then have to resort also to extra-parliamentary measures.
Nagamootoo did posit his belief that the threat by Ramotar is nothing but a ploy to buy time.
He suggested that Government has realized that perhaps it needs the time to be able to strike some sort of deal to abort a no-confidence motion, a move he said “is all part of a very spineless strategy.
According to Nagamootoo, failure to have the debate and proroguing parliament will lead to an extra-parliamentary dictatorship that would evoke extra-parliamentary responses by the people.
He reminded that the Guyanese people are empowered constitutionally with a peaceful mechanism to remove the government from office in the form of the no-confidence motion.
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