The Opposition party, Alliance For Change on Thursday afternoon further strengthened its position of no confidence in the Donald Ramotar administration by officially filing its no confidence motion with the Clerk of the National Assembly.
Now that the motion has been filed, the National Assembly is expected to set a date for its tabling and debate and the passage of the motion could follow that debate. It is expected that the motion will be tabled in October when the National Assembly comes out of its two-month recess. That recess begins this weekend.
The motion was handed over to the Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs by AFC Executive Members David Patterson and Ramon Gaskin.
The other and larger Opposition party in the National Assembly, A Partnership for National Unity has indicated that it will throw its full support behind the AFC’s no confidence motion.
Speaking to News Source at the Parliament Buildings just after handing over the motion, AFC Executive member David Patterson said the Clerk of the National Assembly has indicated that the motion will be addressed, now that it has been officially handed over.
Patterson said although the motion will not be tabled until the parliamentary recess is over in October, there is the possibility that the Speaker could call the Assembly out of recess to deal with the motion once the Opposition parties convince him that there is a need to have the motion tabled and debated before the end of the recess.
“The Clerk explained that a case could be made to the Speaker that this is a matter of importance, and the Speaker has the Authority to summon an extraordinary meeting of the National Assembly at anytime to address the motion”, Patterson said.
He said he is not moved by statements from the Government side that it is not impossible for the Government to call snap elections before the motion is tabled. According to Patterson, there would be the “same result of early elections”.
President Donald Ramotar has said he and his People’s Progressive Party Civic are prepared for “any snap elections” and he is confident that he will be leading the party into those elections whenever they are called.
Once the no confidence motion is tabled and passed, the Government will be forced to resign and the President will have to set a date for the national elections and that date will have to be three months after the passage of the motion.
The Alliance For Change Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan has indicated to the President, the reason behind his party’s decision to move the no confidence motion against the government.
See Ramjattan’s letter below:
“17th July, 2014
H. E Donald Ramotar
Office of the President
Shiv Chanderpaul Drive
Dear Mr. President,
I write to you out of deep concern over the unauthorized and unconstitutional withdrawals made from our nation’s Consolidated Fund by the Minister of Finance.
It is my Party’s belief that such withdrawals as reported in Financial Paper #1 of 2014 are in clear contravention of Article 217 of the Constitution of the Republic of Guyana and Section 16 of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.
In addition, we believe that this action taken by your Government greatly exceeds the mandate given by the people of Guyana in the elections of 2011, in which your party received 48% of the vote. I wish to emphasize that the Alliance For Change has always respected the results of those elections, the supremacy of the Constitution of Guyana and the rule of law which are the bases on which your party ought to govern.
I wish also to emphasize that the will of the Guyanese people is reflected in the composition of the National Assembly, and that one of the key roles played by that body is the authorisation of all public spending.
My Party therefore finds it wholly unacceptable that your Government is now spending from the Consolidated Fund beyond the provisions of the Appropriations Act of 2014 or any other approved by the National Assembly.
We cannot condone participate in or lend any support to such a serious breach of the Constitution and laws of Guyana, and we find it necessary in the light of the clear and present danger to the Constitution and the rule of law to explore all options necessary for safeguarding the public purse against further lawless spending.
I am aware that Article 106(6) of our Constitution provides an option that is currently being discussed nationwide i.e. the forced resignation of the Cabinet including the President following a defeat in the National Assembly on a vote of no-confidence.
In the light of what has occurred, I wish to formally clarify that my Party has indeed been actively considering this option and currently is of the view that the options for lawful and constitutional alternatives have rapidly decreased.
Our Party sees no other alternative than to proceed with this constitutional mechanism for removal of an unpopular Government that has ceased to enjoy the confidence of the National Assembly and who by its actions has demonstrated an unlawful and contemptuous disregard for the Supreme Law of the Country.
Cc: Brigadier (Ret’d) David Granger – Leader of the Opposition”
NEWS Source 7th August, 2014