By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger has made it clear that his Party will vote to amend the 2014 budget if they feel that it is not in the public’s interest.
This follows a High Court ruling by Chief Justice (ag), Ian Chang to the effect that the Parliamentary opposition does not have the power to cut government’s budget, but can only approve or disapprove.
During a press conference on Friday, January 31, Granger told reporters that the Chief Justice’s decision will create a constitutional crisis. iNews understands that voting against the entire budget can automatically force the President to dissolve the Parliament and call elections.
As such, Granger noted that the APNU is prepared for snap elections, if this indeed materializes.
“If the People’s Progressive Party administration brings a budget to the National Assembly, that we feel is contrary to the public interest, we are going to exercise our constitutional right to amend the budget and the Courts cannot intervene, the Courts cannot intrude on the rights of the National Assembly,” Granger told reporters.
He said that the decision of the Chief Justice is grossly flawed and is not helpful to the governance of Guyana.
“If it is interpreted that the opposition can either approve the whole budget or disapprove the whole budget, there will be a constitutional crisis, so unless we are allowed to regulate our own business, which is provided for in the constitution and unless we are allowed to delete or amend line items, as happened in every part in the Commonwealth and as we’ve done in 2012 and 2013, there is going to be a crisis, because the so called negotiations which were promised to start on July 1, 2013 have not borne fruit and it is likely that advanced preparations for the budget has been completed.”
As such, the APNU Leader noted it is likely that the concerns of the APNU were not taken on board by the government. Granger believes that the Court ruling as basically put on noose around the government’s neck.