…President’s decision meant to avoid scrutiny of Nandlall, Dr. Singh – Granger
By Gary Eleazar
The Executive is constitutionally required to present the 2015 Estimates by the end of March but A Partnership
for National Unity (APNU) is not interested in this, but rather whenever the Parliament is reconvened, Government will be faced with the no-confidence motion as “Donald Ramotar must go.”
This is according to leader of the coalition, Brigadier David Granger, who yesterday in an invited comment reminded that APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC) have been talking with the administration for three years now to no avail.
He said too that recently when talks were held with President Ramotar and his team, all the cards were again placed on the table, but the Executive did not budge.
Granger responded to critics too, saying that the combined opposition was not caught off guard by the President’s decision to prorogue the 10th Parliament.
According to Granger, the writing was on the wall ever since May of this year and was solidified further as time dragged on with the subsequent statements by none other than the President, who made it clear that he wanted to buy more time to avoid scrutiny and expend money from the coffers unchecked.
Granger is of the firm belief that the President also wanted to avoid Parliament looking into the recent scandal involving Attorney General Anil Nandlall, over a recorded conversation where he was overheard speaking of an imminent armed attack on Kaieteur News, among other despicable acts.
The Opposition Leader said too, that President Ramotar wanted to avoid subjecting his Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee of Privileges, over the more than $4.5B that the political opposition has accused him of spending illegally.
When asked about the constant overtures on the part of the administration for continued talks that would lead to the reconvening of Parliament, Granger made it clear that given the many blunders on the part of the opposition, coupled with the stubbornness of the President to budge on the issues that the opposition has put on the table, General Elections is now the only recourse.
He said that whenever the President reconvenes the House even if it is to bring the 2015 budget, he will be faced with the no confidence motion, which will force General Elections.
Meanwhile Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Juan Edghill, when contacted for some insight as to how government will move forward with its 2015 Budget, said that they are forging ahead within the confines of the law. He said that government is still open to talks with the opposition and would hope that all Members of Parliament would seek to put the interest of Guyanese people first.
Edghill also used the opportunity to respond to the Shadow Finance Minister, Carl Greenidge, who had warned that APNU will not be honouring outright, any deals, land concessions, licences issued and other such agreements, during the course of the Parliament being prorogued.
According to Edghill, government is always in talks with investors looking to do business in Guyana, and this will not be put on hold. He said that government will act in the best interest of the people and, within the confines of the law, enter into agreements which will be of benefit to the people.
Edghill cautioned Greenidge that in order to give effect to his threat, he would firstly have to remove the government and secure office, a development, he (Edghill) did not readily see happening any time soon.
President Ramotar on Monday last prorogued the National Assembly mere hours before the House was scheduled to meet and debate a no-confidence motion brought by the AFC and supported by APNU, meant to force the Head of State into calling General Elections.
In announcing his proclamation in an address to the nation, Ramotar said “my decision to exercise this constitutional option was not taken lightly, but it was the sole recourse that was left to me to ensure that the life of the 10th Parliament was preserved.”
Many in the opposition rank and file have since condemned the decisions as a move to preserve the life of the Executive/Government and not the Legislature/Parliament.
The President in his address had said too that his appeals “to return to normalcy, to constructively address the many important issues confronting us in Guyana, appear to have fallen on deaf ears”.
He pointed out that it is his “genuine desire to have the prorogation of the 10th Parliament ended sooner were my Government and the Opposition to reach an agreement for a return to normalcy”.
The President cautioned however, that if his entreaties of cooperation by government proved unsuccessful, “I would then take the necessary steps for the holding of early General Elections so that the democratic will of our people can be freely exercised.”
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