The prorogation of the Parliament by President Donald Ramotar has elicited strong responses from leaders of the
opposition parties, with Vice Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Moses Nagamootoo, asserting that the action by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration is tantamount to being an “ungrateful dog” to the people.
The attorney-at-law commented that the government has certainly served the Parliament, and by extension the citizens, a “devastating blow”. He predicted, too, that the government would most likely use the “break” to start a campaign to garner lost votes.
Nagamootoo told Kaieteur News that he is worried about the financial improprieties that will take place, in light of the absence of scrutiny that will result from the suspension of the National Assembly.
The AFC Parliamentarian opined that government will now use the opportunity to go on a spending campaign in an effort to recover lost ground.
“They will be spending. They will probably commit themselves to activating certain programmes to show that they care. So what is going to happen is a campaign of social bribes. They will focus on Amerindian areas and other communities, for it is all about catching as many votes as it can now.
“They will also use state media to the maximum to sell the party, because at this point, the government is terribly wounded. The PPP is more concerned about recovering lost ground. The government is also going to use this six-month breathing period to deal with internal problems.”
The Vice Chairman said that there is an internal crisis in terms of deciding who will be the Party’s next Presidential candidate should there be a general election.
“And obviously Ramotar knows he is being challenged, and talks of the likes of Rohee and others – who would be standing and looking on to see where they would come in – are already in the air. I am not at all enamored by the idea that we are going to see the PPP focusing on the bigger developmental projects; they always miss the bigger picture,” Nagamootoo said.
Asked to what extent he believes the Parliament will be affected by the six-month suspension, the AFC Executive said that he believes that the decision will be a huge setback.
He made reference to the fact that members of the regional districts rely on their representing Members of Parliament to bring their troubles to the national table for discussion. However, he said, those citizens will now have to suffer from a huge “disconnect”. He deemed this to be a most dangerous implication of the decision taken by the government.
“If you are not able to bring the feelings or the concerns of the people to the Parliament, then you are asking for trouble. In any democracy, a Parliament is considered a cooling-off pool where people can come and peacefully resolve issues, but in an extra-parliamentary situation, such as what we have today, it breeds confrontation. That for me is an ingredient in our politics that we shouldn’t have,” the politician asserted.
Nagamootoo was also asked if he believes that the move to prorogue parliament has, in a sense, made the people powerless for six months. He answered in the affirmative.
“President Donald Ramotar has undone the power of the people. While some sections of society voted for the government, they have now realized that they are not worth anything, considering that it (Gov’t) has withdrawn from the place to talk the people’s business. The people want the government to face the edge of the sword and it is hiding from its inevitable end.”
“The problem with the current administration is that it continues to beat its chest at the top of the highest tower and shout about its belief of empowering the people, and when it gets down from the tower, it goes on a hypocritical stage and acts out its true feelings—that being that it doesn’t care about the people.”
“It’s like training your own dog to be a pet and it has turned back to bite you. That’s what the PPP has done. It has turned its back on the people. It’s an ungrateful dog!” Nagamootoo stated emphatically.
The Parliamentarian said that the government’s decision to make the Parliament impotent sends a “terrifying message” for politics in Guyana.
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