Following the letter that was dispatched to Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, moments after the Speaker of the National Assembly upheld the no confidence motion on Thursday, inviting him to a meeting with President David Granger on January 9, 2019, while further asking that he indicate the matters which he wished to be placed on the agenda for the meeting, Jagdeo has done same.
In a statement to the press, Jagdeo, among others things, said that compliance with Guyana’s Constitution in relation to the no confidence motion and preparation for free and fair elections will be the main issues on the agenda of the meeting with the President.
He premised the importance of discussing the matters highlighted on the recent backpedaling of the incumbent Administration on the motion that was carried, outlining that the most recent approach taken by the APNU/AFC government was done in bad faith.
The Opposition Leader noted that after the passage of the no confidence motion in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018, he made a statement that “we have to see this as an opportunity to discuss not only how we act in the 90 days period and preparation for elections in compliance with the Constitution of Guyana but also given all the parties have constituencies, to start exploring post elections possibilities of working together in the interest of Guyana and all our people.”
He said further that he was initially pleased that both the Prime Minister and President accepted the outcome of the no confidence vote and that the President issued a press release which indicated that he will meet with the Opposition and that he wanted to speak about enhancing political cooperation.
However, Since then, Jagdeo outlined that “they have acted in bad faith and done everything to undermine this collaborative approach.”
According to the Opposition Leader “They have reneged on the public statements accepting the passage of the no confidence motion using the most ludicrous arguments – that a 34/31 vote was needed for the motion to be successful, that they did not tactically speak about this when the motion was passed for fear of activating 5 other PPP moles on the government side, that the PPP bribed Charrandas – without providing a shred of evidence. Further having failed to get the Speaker to reverse the ruling that the no confidence was carried, they have now resorted to the courts to override the Constitution.”
Jagdeo also made mention of the utterances of Attorney General Basil Williams that one of the reasons for filing the court case is to strengthen their hands in the talks.
“It seems as though the protracted period for the meeting is to give them time to wriggle out of the obligations imposed on them by articles 106(6) and 106(7) of our constitution” Jagdeo surmised.
Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”
Meanwhile, clause 7 goes on to state that, “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”
The Opposition Leader said that the PPP “will fiercely resist” any attempt to undermine the constitution.