AFC walks out of Budget Presentation

AFC walks out of Budget Presentation

The Opposition party, Alliance For Change on Monday walked out of the presentation of the National Budget by the Minister of Finance. The AFC seven Members of the National Assembly left the National Assembly just after tributes were paid to late former Speaker Deborah Backer.

In a statement to the media, the AFC said its decision to absent itself from the budget presentation¬†is to protest against the violation “of our Constitution by this government in not holding meaningful consultation on the budget, whilst it had the time to do so”.

According to the party, Article 13 of the Guyana Constitution provides that the principal objective of the political system of the state is to establish an “inclusionary democracy”. The party said in this regard, government-opposition consultation is not only useful political behaviour but promotes the type of democracy that Guyana needs.

“Unfortunately, in keeping with its misguided winner takes all posture, this government tries to reduce the role of the majority Opposition from an active participant in national decision-making to one of a passive listener”, the party said.

The Alliance For Change noted that “judging from the rave and rants of previous speeches, the AFC has no reason to believe that Minister Singh would make a sober presentation this year. High on a propaganda blitz against the Opposition, he would not resist the blame game and the sojourn into the past, to buttress evident failures”.

The party said it thought it best to not dignify the speech with its presence in the National Assembly. It said the budget Minister “who is accused with disobeying the decisions of the National Assembly and, in disregard of those decisions, restored funds that were not approved by the said assembly, for which acts he has been placed before the Privileges Committee of the National Assembly”.

Additionally the AFC noted that the 2014 budget is overshadowed by the ruling of the Chief Justice that the National Assembly may approve or not approve the estimates of the expenditure. It said whilst the party respects the ruling of the Courts, it reserves its right to abide with the people’s mandate to guard the national purse.

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