By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com]–Opposition Parliamentarian Joseph Harmon told reporters this morning (Friday, October 31), that a Motion, seeking to amend several Standing Orders, will be filed soon, if not today, with the Clerk of the National Assembly.
According to Harmon, following consultations between both the opposition coalition– A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – and the Alliance for Change (AFC), the Motion was drafted to bring greater clarity to both the role of the Speaker and the Majority in the House.
The amendment also seeks to set a specific time frame for which the National Assembly should reconvene after a recess.
Harmon explained that this followed the apparent gridlock currently being experienced in setting a date for a sitting of the House following the end of the parliamentary recess on October 10.
Among the Standing Orders to be amended are: Standing Order 8, 8(1), 8 (2) and 9.
“We will ask for amendments to allow for the majority to approach the Speaker to get a date set for the reconvening or adjourned date for the House,” Harmon said.
He explained that the Standing Orders which currently govern the procedures of Parliament are “now being tested,” having been adopted in July.
“We are going through fresh Standing Orders so as you go through these things you will find that something is not properly catered for and amendments will have to be made,” he added.
Harmon said it is his personal belief and that of his Party that this gridlock and delay in dealing with the people’s business should not take place.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader David Granger says that his Party remains interested in having a sitting of the House at the earliest time even as the AFC continues to vent its frustration with the delay.
On Wednesday last, Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs turned down House Speaker Raphael Trotman’s request for him to convene a sitting of the House on November 06.
The Clerk conveyed his refusal in a letter to the Speaker and told iNews that his refusal was based his earlier argument that only the government can reconvene the House under the current circumstances.
The Speaker has since issued a public statement registering his disagreement with the Clerk’s interpretation. President Donald Ramotar has promised that the House will be convened soon.