There shall be no talks if President prorogues Parliament -Granger

There shall be no talks if President prorogues Parliament   -Granger

Guyana’s Leader of the Opposition, retired Brigadier David Granger, declared early on Sunday morning that he will not go into any talks with President Donald Ramotar if the President decides to avoid a no confidence motion by proroguing the Parliament.

Speaking to reporters just after the Remembrance Day wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Georgetown, Mr. Granger said “we can’t engage with a gun at our heads. This National Assembly is a forum for national debate, it is the voice of the people and I can’t see how he can prorogue the Parliament and expect us to have discussion under duress. The place for discussions is the National Assembly and if he shuts it down then he shuts down discussion and he shuts down dialogue. It’s a very risky step for him to take”.

President Donald Ramotar  last Tuesday  evening announced that if the Opposition parties decide to move ahead with the No Confidence motion against his government, he will either dissolve the Parliament or Prorogue it. He said there are other issues the Opposition should be focusing on in the National Assembly.

If the President decides to dissolve the Parliament, then he will have to set a date for national elections within three months. However, if he prorogued the Parliament, he will all of its sittings and debate to a halt and allow the government six months to govern without the Assembly. The Leader of the Opposition, David Granger, believes it would be an undemocratic step for the President to prorogue the Parliament, especially since the combined Opposition parties hold the majority.

“I have exhausted my discussions with the President and he has taken a line that is undemocratic and uncalled for, and that is the threat to prorogue the Parliament. The place for rational debate to take place is the National Assembly and if he shuts it down, he shuts down debate and he must bear the consequences of that decision”, Granger said in response to the President’s threat to shut down the Parliament.

According to the Opposition Leader and Leader of the APNU, his party will not accept any move by the President to prorogue the Parliament “and it is not something we will encourage our supporters to accept”.

He said by shutting down the National Assembly, the President and his government would be choosing to deny democracy. “Democracy means that the elected representatives of the people must be able to go to the National Assembly and discuss matters of public interest”, Granger said.

Mr. Granger said the people of Guyana are angry at the past 22 years of the PPP Civic in office and “Heaven knows” how they will respond to a move by the President to put their business in the National Assembly on hold.

Asked whether he fears that protests could play into the government’s hands and create some ethnic concerns in the country, the Opposition Leader said people across the ethnic divide in Guyana are unhappy with the government and its way of doing business.

Granger said “I believe that the dissatisfaction with the PPP has crossed ethnic lines already”. The Opposition Leader noted that if the People of Guyana decide to come out in protest against the government and its move to silence their voices in the National Assembly, the Opposition will be supportive of those  moves.

9th November, 2014

You must be logged in to post a comment Login