A Partnership for National Unity [APNU] is confident that President Donald Ramotar will assent to the four Local Government Bills which were recently passed in the National Assembly.
However, while this is the case, the APNU does not acknowledge or accept the fact that three of the Bills are at the Chambers of the Attorney General for review.
At a press conference today, Executive Member Deborah Backer expressed confidence in the President’s ability to assent to the Bills since there was consensus among all involved, but she stated that there is no law which specifies that the Bill should go to the AG’s chambers for review before being assented to.
“We are confident there is no reason why His Excellency ought not to, should not assent to these Bills. They’re [Government] that they can win local government elections, we’re confident that we can win local government elections, so we say, let’s go,” Backer stated.
Additionally, APNU’s Leader, David Granger said that he is not yet aware if the President gave his assent to the Bills.
“The President’s assent to Bills is always a mystery to me. He has 21 days and I hope he sticks to the constitution,” Mr. Granger told the press conference.
As it relates to the Bills being reviewed by the AG, Mr. Granger stated that the Chambers cannot make any changes to a Bill which was unanimously passed in the National Assembly.
“The word of the National Assembly is the last word. He cannot change something that has been approved, so he has no role to play. Once the National Assembly makes a decision…it goes to the President for assent, we don’t accept or acknowledge that he [AG] has a role to play,” Mr. Granger said.
In addition, APNU’s Parliamentarian, Winston Felix reiterated the call for the parliament to be staffed with legal counsel so that drafting of various Bills could be dealt with there.