By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – In response to President Donald Ramotar’s address to the nation last evening, Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan says if the President was this assertive weeks ago, the nation would have been spared many troubles.
Ramjattan believes the President conceded under pressure from the combined opposition and the international community to make an announcement on the holding of Local Government Elections (LGE) and announce a date for the convening of Parliament.
“Had he been as assertive as this three or four weeks ago, he could have avoided so much ruckus and a lot of unavoided speculation and a lot of negative happenings,” he said, adding that “you know like the Mace going missing from the Speaker’s room and all of that but it’s a good thing and I am happy to hear that he has announced that he is going to see the convening of Parliament on the 10th of November.”
The President, in his address last evening (Tuesday, November 04), said if the Opposition pushes ahead with its no confidence motion in Parliament, he will respond immediately by exercising his constitutional options to either prorogue or dissolve Parliament, which will pave the way for the holding of General Elections.
The President also announced Monday, November 10, as the date of the first post-recess sitting of the National Assembly. Further, the Head of State announced his intention to hold Local Government Elections in the Second Quarter of next year, 2015.
Ramjattan expressed happiness over the President’s intentions to dissolve Parliament.
“They are after calling for general elections if there is going to be a successful passage of the no confidence motion, I rather suspect that he knew that he had to make some announcement,” he stressed.
However, Ramjattan is still not convinced about the President’s promise to hold LGE by the second quarter in 2015.
“That is somewhat very vague and I am not so certain that it is definite but whatever, it is his statement and it does go somewhat in implicating those who are asking for LGE to the extent saying the second half of next year or thereabout.”
The AFC Leader promised to work with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to maximize the advance towards the no confidence motion on November 10.
The AFC Leader says he will push for the debate of the motion when Parliament reconvenes, but maintained that his Party will exercise flexibility with other Bills of national importance.
“We will flex depending on the circumstances but we will not want this no confidence motion to be dragged down into other days; we prefer if it happens the same night, if it is exceptional circumstances then probably another day or so but we have to make sure it does not get dragged into months and months from now, absolutely not.”
He expressed great disappointment over the President’s failure to name the Procurement Commission as one of his priority.
“Because the Anti-Money Laundering Bill will only get the AFC’s support and of course as you know APNU has indicated as much too unless there is the establishment of the Procurement Commission with so much corruption in the Procurement Services.”