By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Alliance for Change (AFC) made it pellucid today that that it will disapprove any National Budget brought to the National Assembly by the current administration for the fiscal year 2015.
AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan made the announcement in an invited comment after reiterating his Party’s position that it will not engage the governing People’s Progressive Party in any dialogue or negotiations during this current period of the prorogation of Parliament.
“We are going to disapprove the whole budget buddy… you can expect of the Alliance for Change no support for the budget which is tantamount to a no confidence motion,” Ramjattan told Reporters at a press conference.
President Donald Ramotar moved on Monday last, by proclamation, to prorogue Parliament ahead of a debate on a No Confidence Motion brought against his administration by the AFC.
The Party said it will not give a government it has no confidence in the approval to spend any more of the country’s money.
According to Ramjattan, whenever Parliament is reconvened the Motion would be brought back which once successful would trigger General Elections. The Head of State has already indicated that should discussions with the Opposition fail then he would move to dissolve Parliament and go to the polls; general elections is not constitutionally due in Guyana until November 2016.
“Regardless of the content, we will disapprove it… we know they will come with all the goodies. 20% increase in public servants salary, 100% for certain sectors of the public servants and a whole lot of pork barrel projects and then they will got to the people and say we had a beautiful budget and Ramjattan and them boys blocked the budget so you have to vote back for us,” the AFC Leader explained.
When asked if he feels he’s playing into the government’s hands by disapproving the budget, Ramjattan responded: “What hands? The people in this country know lots more than you think they know… it’s about elections.”
Meanwhile, AFC Executive Member, Dominic Gaskin explained that the administration can spend for 2014 because that money has already been approved. He said for the first four months in 2015 the government has provisions in the constitution to spend from the consolidated fund but after that time, they either have to come to the National Assembly to approve additional funding or go to the polls.
The current prorogation period could last for a maximum of six months. When asked yesterday about this reality of not securing the Opposition’s support for the 2015 budget, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon said “time will tell.”
He is hopeful that with time the Opposition will get a change of heart when that time arises.
Meanwhile the main opposition – a Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – has not commented on the likelihood of their support for the budget.
Both the AFC and APNU has said however that any deals and agreements made with the government during this period of prorogation will be reopened whenever Parliament is reconvene to be scrutinized.
APNU position too is that no dialogue will take place with the government outside of the National Assembly.