Speaker denies Opposition’s questions without notice on Pompeo’s visit

Speaker Manzoor Nadir

Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir, has struck out oral questions posed by the parliamentary opposition regarding the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Guyana.

Nadir made the announcement today, at the starting of the budget debates. He cited the parliamentary standing orders, which stipulate that such questions must be urgent and important to be allowed.

“Two days ago, (Amanza) Walton Desir submitted questions without notice, yesterday I ruled and it was re-submitted by [Christopher] Jones, again today.”

“Under Standing Order 18, it requires that questions without notice have urgency and importance. I maintained that the questions submitted do not qualify as urgent,” Nadir said.

Particularly, the questions were centered on the agenda of Pompeo’s visit, whether Venezuela will be a topic for discussion, and what costs will be borne by taxpayers to facilitate the high-level arrangements.

In a statement afterwards, Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon claimed that the decision to block the questions was unfair.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

However, Pompeo has already announced the reason for his visit to Guyana and other countries in the Western Hemisphere.

The US Department of State on Tuesday said Pompeo’s trip will highlight the United States’ commitment to defend democracy, combat COVID-19 while revitalising economies in the pandemic’s wake, and strengthen security against regional threats.