By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar says he has deadline in mind as it relates to when he will stop ‘knocking on the doors’ of the combined Opposition for the two sides to meet and discuss issues affecting the country.
However, the President has refused to reveal when is the deadline, stating that he does not want to “close his mind” from other suggestions.
He told a news conference this afternoon (Friday November, 14) that he is still hopeful of meeting with the Opposition, even though he is aware of their position of not having any dialogue outside of Parliament.
“Very soon I will be inviting the Opposition Leader [David Granger] in for us to begin the dialogue…I know they have been saying they will not want to speak…I would interpret that as their first position. Hopefully when the emotions will be removed, good sense and maturity will prevail,” President Ramotar told the media.
Upon Ramotar’s decision to prorogue Parliament on Monday November 10, he made it clear that he will call General and Regional Elections if dialogue with the Opposition fails.
When questioned as to whether he will accept any mediator to the dialogue, the President did not reject the idea but asserted that his “preference is for us to deal with our own issues.”
“I think it would be good for us as Guyanese to be able to sit down and deal with our own issues. Let us give ourselves a chance,” President Ramotar said.
It was only today that Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman wrote to the Commonwealth Secretary General, requesting that a delegation be sent to break the political gridlock.
Meanwhile, President Ramotar rejected the notion that his decision to prorogue the Parliament makes him a dictator.
“I have acted within the constitution, legally and democratically. The accusation that this is creating a dictatorship, or semi-dictatorship, doesn’t give me new authority that would turn me into a dictator; that was designed to fool the gullible. I cannot rule by decree, I cannot pass laws by myself, if I could have done I would have passed all these laws that I find important.”
He also debunked claims by the Opposition that his government will use the prorogation period to “dip its hands in the treasury.”
“This again is utter nonsense…we have a budget and it is clearly dictated in the Constitution. I cannot spend money as we like.”
According to President, he saw “a lot more advantages” in his decision to prorogue the Parliament, such as giving persons in the interior more time to register for voting.
Despite the Opposition clearly stating that it will not honour any agreements between government and local/foreign investors during this prorogation period, the President is adamant that he will still pursue investors.
“I will not hold back development of our country,” he said. The prorogation period can constitutionally last for six months.