If you are an opposition party in Guyana and you are offering up yourself to be the next government, you have to display some competence in your own backyard. If as an opposition party you cannot demonstrate that you are a capable opposition party, then why would the people of Guyana want to vote for you to take over the reins of government?
For months now the opposition parties in Guyana have been threatening to pass a No-Confidence Motion in the government. This is not a new threat. This has been on the front-burner for months now. So there was adequate time for the opposition parties to plan their strategies.
In fact we were told just recently that they had a meeting to fine tune their strategies. One would have expected therefore that at the minimum, these opposition parties that are supporting the No-Confidence Motion against the government would have considered what the reaction of the government would have been.
You do not enter into a contest well prepared unless you would have considered what your opponent was likely to do. The opposition parties had the world of time to predict the possible counter measures of the government. Well they got it all wrong because they predicted all the things they thought the government would do except the proroguing of parliament.
First they felt that the government would opt for a confidence motion so as to defer the no-confidence motion. Then there was talk by the Alliance For Change that the government was preparing to buy out three opposition members of parliament for thirty million dollars each. The evidence of this buy-out has not yet been produced and the Peeper is not asking lest he be told to “haul his”… you know what.
Then they felt that the scandalous allegations made by a young man against the Speaker were aimed at frustrating the debating of the No-Confidence Motion. Then, a big debate ensued as to who has a right to call a sitting of the Assembly following its recess. It was felt here again that the government was not moving forward in indicating that it was ready because the government was employing delaying tactics to avoid a debate on the No-Confidence Motion.
There were even talks between the government and APNU and this was interpreted in some circles as the government trying to broker a deal with APNU to have Local Government Elections so as to negate the No-Confidence Motion. APNU seemed to have come away from those talks with the impression that a deal was in the making because it announced that it was convinced that a date for Local Government Elections would be announced. This never happened and the President indicated, much to the dismay of APNU that he could not commit to Local Government Elections when there was a threat of a No-Confidence Motion hanging like a noose around his neck. That should have indicated to APNU that the government wanted a quid pro quo. It wanted the noose removed before it gave a commitment to Local Government polls. Unfortunately, APNU interpreted the President’s comments as a lack of sincerity on the part of the government to have Local Government Elections. Instead of reading between the lines, it decided to call off talks and move straight ahead with the long promised No-Confidence Motion.
But it seems that in so doing, both APNU and the AFC did not consider all the constitutional reactions that were possible. They did not cover all the bases and the people of Guyana are going to ask what sort of opposition parties are these that they did not predict the possibility of the government proroguing parliament, which is permissible under the Constitution and which should have been predicted by the opposition parties.
Can the opposition parties be really serious about having the support of the Guyanese people when they have demonstrated such a wholesale lack of foresight in this matter?
They have made a mess of this whole No-Confidence Motion. Their timing is off. The delay in bringing the National Assembly out of a recess means that Christmas is saved. There will be no election campaign during the festive season. But by rushing the No-Confidence Motion at the first sitting today, the opposition is imposing an election during Mashramani. Their sense of timing is way off.
But that is nothing compared to the fact that they had no contingency plans for the President proroguing parliament as a means of stopping the No-Confidence Motion. They did not see this coming and because they did not see it they cannot hold themselves out to be a credible government- in- waiting.
Now APNU is trying to rally its supporters by claiming that the proroguing of parliament is an attempt to silence the legislature. Well, what is the implication of the No-Confidence Motion that APNU says it supports? The passage of the No-Confidence Motion will bring an end to parliament. So is this not also about silencing the existing parliament?
If this is the bugle call by the opposition parties to a maneuver by the government that the opposition parties did not see coming, I hate to think what the opposition parties would shout if snap elections follow any proroguing of parliament, as is constitutionally expected.
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