[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall has said that a No-Confidence Motion is not a mechanism for the ruling Party in Government to defend its track record since that track record speaks for itself.
He was responding to reports in sections of the media insinuating that the Government is trying to avoid the Opposition’s No Confidence Motion because it is afraid of defending its track record.
Speaking on a special television programme on the National Communications Network (NCN), yesterday, the AG said that the Government will continue to take the constitutional and democratic road in moving Guyana forward.
Recognising the state of affairs that obtained following the 2011 general elections, the Government saw the need to work and dialogue with the Opposition in order to move the parliamentary agenda since they enjoyed a majority in the National Assembly.
“The Government at the highest level has been working assiduously with the major Opposition party constantly with a view of reconciling differences with the ultimate objective of advancing the development agenda of the country,” Minister Nandlall said.
The No-Confidence Motion which emanated from the AFC, a constitutionally recognised procedure. The constitution states that if a confidence Motion is brought against the Government and is successful, then the Government must resign, the Parliament must be dissolved and the elections must be held after three months of the passage of that Motion.
The AG explained that the Opposition Parties have a right to assert this power which the constitution has given them.
Having regard to the public sentiments expressed by both the AFC and APNU, President Donald Ramotar made an address to the nation, essentially offering clarity on many of the issues that are being bandied around in the press and outlining the options that the Executive is provided with under the same constitution.
Firstly, he announced that the much talked about Local Government elections will be held in the second quarter of 2015. This would be the first time that these elections will be held under the amended constitution and under new laws that were passed.
Secondly, should the Opposition proceed with their No-Confidence Motion, then the President has the option to either dissolve or prorogue the Parliament of Guyana. These are two legally and constitutionally permitted mechanisms that have been widely used across the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.
“Just as how the constitution allows for a Government to be removed by a Confidence Motion, that Motion can be averted or Parliament can be dissolved or prorogued,” the AG said.
One Opposition Party has since described the President’s announcement of a possible dissolution or prorogation as cowardly while the other stated that it is a dictatorial.
Minister Nandlall maintained that nothing that is in the constitution can be wrong, unlawful or can be construed to be dictatorial.
“It is a constitutionally recommended and provided procedure and if the President chooses to go this route then he is exercising a democratic and constitutional power,” he said.
The No-Confidence has its genesis from the restoration cuts to the 2014 national budget by Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh. Minister Rodrigues-Birkett reminded that the Finance Minister acted legally in accordance with a ruling of the Chief Justice.
These funds were restored so that developmental projects for Amerindian communities can be implemented, loans can be provided to students of the University of Guyana, and that the $10,000 education programme can be rolled out among other vital expenditure.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said that the burden that this latest Opposition threat has placed on the President’s shoulders is indeed a heavy one, but she is optimistic the decision he ultimately makes will be in the best interest of all Guyanese
“Things will change if people put Guyana first… I am hoping that there will be some kind of rethinking and meeting of minds as to where we want to take this country. Whatever decision is taken by the President must be accepted because he will be within his legal right to do so,” she said. [Extracted and modified from GINA]