By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell
The Government of Guyana is confident that the motion of no-confidence, filed against it by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), will be defeated.
“Anything is possible, in life and in Parliament,” is what Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said on Thursday when asked if he thinks there is a possibility that his no-confidence motion could see a successful passage.
Jagdeo said this knowing that the government has a one-seat majority in the National Assembly and that the opposition needs at least one vote from the government’s side to win a vote on the motion.
The suggestion was that a government member might vote with the PPP. In fact, Jagdeo said that several parliamentarians sitting on the government’s side spoke about their dissatisfaction with actions taken.
But, yesterday, both the Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) exuded certainty that there is unity and no government Member of Parliament (MP) would be infiltrated.
“We are not for sale,” said People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Chairman, Volda Lawrence, as she stated with certainty that government MPs will not break ranks.
Also, she said that she cannot understand the audacity of Jagdeo to use allegations of corruption as one of the reasons for his motion when, “corruption was the bread and butter” of his Administration.
Lawrence said that the coalition has proven that it is willing to investigate claims of corruption and discrepancies. She said that this is evident with the many Commissions of Inquiry that were launched. She said the records show that PPP/C held no inquiries under Jagdeo.
The Chair said that the “idle rantings of Mr. Jagdeo will not scare any member”.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, performing the duties of President in the absence of Head of State David Granger, said he would not speculate whether any government MP is likely to support Jagdeo’s motion.
However, he said that “this is not Donald Ramotar, this is Granger-Nagamootoo”.
Moreover, Nagamootoo condemned the timing of the motion when the President, David Granger, is seriously ill.
Nagamootoo said, “In a Government where, at the time, the sitting president is out of the country receiving medical attention, the timing of the motion is insensitive…I believe it was a politically insensitive and childish move.”
He asked, “Where is the Guyanese compassion?”
Nagamootoo emphasized that the move was intended to sow discord and divisiveness among the populace, particularly ethnic division. He further said that it is no coincidence that the No-Confidence Motion comes at a time when budget deliberations are right around the corner.
He said that Jagdeo’s assertion of the No-Confidence Motion being of “national interest” is anything but, and the act simply seeks to divert attention from more nationally pressing issues, such as the 2019 National Budget.
Further, Nagamootoo said that nothing has changed, the president is still the president and even from overseas, he remains the Commander-in-Chief.
Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge also said that Jagdeo is taking advantage of the misfortunes of others.
But he said that Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, will have to determine whether the No-Confidence motion is admissible at this time, in light of other pressing matters on the parliamentary agenda such as the upcoming budget presentation and debates.
AFC’s Executive Member and Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson asserted that APNU+AFC will not prorogue Parliament as was done under the Ramotar-led administration.
“We got here by hard work and we will stand and defend our record…every single MP will defend our record and vote resoundingly no to this no-confidence motion,” Patterson stated.
Jagdeo at his press conference contended that the motion was necessary in light of allegations of corruption and wasteful spending against the coalition after just three years in office.
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