Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharat Jagdeo is calling on the coalition APNU/AFC government to immediately resign as is catered for in the constitution following the passage of a no confidence motion.
Speaking at his weekly press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo said that Government misled the country after the meeting between both parties were they said that the Opposition was in agreement that Guyana should not be left without leadership and must continue with the existing state of affairs.
According to Jadgeo, the Opposition has always maintained that they must resign and Parliament must be dissolved.
Further, the Opposition Leader revealed that at no time did the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) reach an agreement with the incumbent administration regarding the functions of the Legislative and Executive branches.
“We did not reach an agreement…President misled the country about this because what he said was false…we did not drop the call for them to resign, Imran Khan in an interview, said that Opposition said that Government needed to be in place, I was talking about the caretaker Government, but they created an impression that I give them the okay to remain in office” Jagdeo said.
“Government even after the issuance of the statement continue to mislead the general public about the circumstances of the meeting and what agreements were struck there. Minutes after the meeting, the President indicated that public services have to be delivered, public order must be maintained and therefore the two sides reached an agreement on how the legislative and executive branches should function…this is not so” he said further.
According to the Party’s General Secretary, the current administration should have already resigned and a caretaker Government should have been in place.
However, when this topic was broached to President David Granger, he reportedly said that the constitution does not provide for one (Caretaker Government).
“Now when the President raised the issue about the constitution not providing for a caretaker government, I asked where in the constitution that said that, I asked him to read 106 (6) which speaks about three months in office and he refused to read it which said that upon the passage of the motion, the cabinet should resign. How it is that you are saying that the constitution does not provide for this when in 2014 when he was leader of the opposition, he said that upon a passage of the motion, the cabinet must resign and a caretaker government must be elected…it is not that we are operating with a new constitution now” the Opposition Leader explained.
Jagdeo lambasted what he said was the attitude of the coalition Administration to operate outside of the parameters of the constitution, which he noted is illegal.
The leader of the Opposition maintained that no confidence motion was legally passed and continues to push for article 106 (6).
Further, he reiterated that the time frames prescribed by the constitution must be rigidly observed and that Parliament must be dissolved unless agreed upon as article 106 (7).
“The President then said that the Government is legal and that it must govern without interference… To him, nothing happened even though the speaker said that it was carried and that the Court did not give an order that would stop the ticking timeline…He does not recognize that 106 (6) AND (7) have already kicked in” Jagdeo condemned.
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.”
Addressing the issue of elections being held based on the readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the opposition leader said that this cannot change the constitutional deadline.
“He said 6 months, I don’t know where he heard that but I never said that…The constitution not APNU makes decisions on this country… the deadline is a constitutional one” Jagdeo said.