By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Parliamentarian and Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira is not too impressed with the response given by President David Granger to accusations that his government is attempting to rush through three important Bills in the National Assembly.
According to a report carried by Demerara Waves online, the President denied that his administration is violating parliamentary democracy, explaining that, “That’s not railroading. We are anxious to fulfill our mandate and our responsibility and, as you know there has been a lapse in calling of Parliament for all sorts of official reasons, and we are trying to complete as much as possible before year-end so, in fact, it’s a commitment to democracy, not the opposite.”
In response to this, Teixeira told a news conference at Freedom House on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 that the President’s response is laughable.
“I don’t wish to be rude but I do think that is laughable; I think that it is a rather incredulous comment. Parliamentary democracy is based on the tenets that we have, it wasn’t an invention by the People’s Progressive Party,” the Opposition Chief Whip said.
She maintained that the APNU+AFC government wants to force Bills through the December 17 sitting of the National Assembly, pointing out that the Opposition did not receive ample time to peruse the Bills.
“The fact that there was no sitting from October 27 to December 17 is certainly not the fault of the Opposition…We believe there is railroading, they have been railroading and I think the President may not be too appreciative of what is parliamentary democracy,” Teixeira told reporters.
A press statement from the office of the Opposition Leader on December 15 noted that after 13:00 hrs on Tuesday, PPP Parliamentarians received copies of Bills slated for first reading on the Order Paper for the December 17, 2015 sitting.
According to the statement, the package also contained a motion to be moved by the Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo suspending the Standing Orders to allow for all three Bills to go through all three stages during the sitting.
The three Bills listed in the motion are the Municipal and District Councils and Local Authorities (Amendment) Bill No. 14 of 2015, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill No. 15 of 2015 and the Anti-Terrorism and Terrorist Related Activities Bill No.16 of 2015.
According to the PPP, “none of these Bills were seen before this afternoon and although they were dated as being gazetted on December 9th and 10th, none has been posted on the Official Gazette Guyana website nor on the Parliament of Guyana website.”