The Government failed in its attempt to adjourn the sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday as the Opposition parties whipped out their majority and voted against a motion from the Prime Minister for there to be an adjournment.
With the National Assembly voting to move ahead with the day’s sitting, the first item to be debated was the Local Government Bills which are critical to the hosting of local government elections in Guyana. The Bills were however, again put down as the Minister of Local Government Ganga Persaud was a no show for the presentation of the bills which would have started the debate on them.
On Thursday July 18, when the Opposition moved up the debate on the local government bills, the Minister sat in his seat and remained silent, refusing to present the bill and open the debate. The Local Government Bills are in the name of the Minister of Local Government, so he would have to be the one to lead off the debate on the pieces of legislation.
With no Local Government Minister present at the sitting, the Speaker was forced to move on to a Bill in the name of the Opposition Leader David Granger. That bill looked at maritime deaths and safety on the country’s waterways.
As Mr. Granger stood to open the debate on the bill in his name, a number of the Government Members of Parliament walked out on his presentation.
Granger remarked that it was clear that some of the Government members had no interest in preserving the lives of Guyanese.
Earlier in the National Assembly, the two sides clashed and debated for over an hour on whether the adjournment the Government wanted should take place. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds had dispatched letters to the Opposition Leader and the Speaker of the National Assembly on Wednesday evening, indicating that the Government was calling off the day’s sitting.
The Speaker and the Opposition raised concern about the Prime Minister’s letter and the Speaker called the sitting and allowed the two sides to share their views on whether there should have been a further adjournment.
The Prime Minister wanted the day’s sitting called off in wake of discussions the President was having on the Amalia Falls project and discussions that the Government wanted to begin with the Opposition.
The Speaker said on Thursday that while the Prime Minister’s request may not have been wrong, the way the Government went about with the request was done in a proper manner. The Prime Minister appeared to have conceded the Speaker’s position although the Government side still wanted the sitting to be called off.