The Speaker and the Clerk of the National Assembly were on Monday afternoon provided with the Official Gazette showing the Presidential Proclamation to Prorogue the Parliament.
Earlier on Monday morning, the Speaker and the Clerk both received the Proclamation and sought legal advice on what it means and how they would proceed had it not been gazetted. Just after lunch on Monday, the Government’s Chief Whip in the National Assembly, Gail Teixeira dispatched the Gazette showing the proclamation.
The Speaker could allow the National Assembly to be called and announce the Proclamation, thereby ending the session.
News Source understands that with the Parliament being prorogued, it will bring an end to the current session of the National Assembly. Bills and Motions that are currently before the House will have to be submitted again when the Parliament comes out of the Prorogue period which could last up to six months.
The No Confidence motion will have to be resubmitted to the Clerk and will have to go through all of the necessary procedure before it finds itself in the Assembly for presentation.
This is the first time that the Guyana Parliament has been prorogued and the Opposition parties believe it is a “cowardly” move by the President to “buy time” rather than to head into National Elections.
In announcing his decision to prorogue the Parliament, President Donald 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”
He added that “it is no secret that the Parliamentary Opposition parties had, at every conceivable opportunity, made known their clear intention to have their motion of no confidence against my Government debated instantly at the first post-recess sitting which was called for today, November 10. Their one-seat majority in Parliament could only mean its passage and the immediate irreversible dissolution of Parliament”.
On Monday morning, the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Clement Rohee told a media conference that the period of suspension will give the political parties time to begin dialogue on several issues of concern to the nation and the Parliament.
But Opposition Leader David Granger has already closed the door on any discussion with the Government. Granger said there is nothing that the President and his government could want to discuss with the Opposition that could not have been discussed on the floor of the National Assembly. He said the Government has now moved to silence the voice of the People in the National Assembly by the President’s decision to prorogue the Parliament.
PPP General Secretary Rohee said he cannot understand how the Opposition parties could believe that they could proceed with a no confidence motion and the President should not be allowed to use the options that are available to him.
It is unclear how long the Prorogation period will last but with the national budget presentation having to be completed before the end of April, it appears likely that the period could end before six months are over.
Filed: 10th November, 2014