By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The anticipated meeting of the Parliamentary Management Committee went on as planned today but hopes that a date for the first Sitting of the House being decided upon were dashed.
Shortly after the meeting ended, Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs told iNews that no date has bet set.
It was expected that a date would have been set during the first meeting following the end of the parliamentary recess on October 10.
According to Isaacs, the government and Opposition Chief Whips have been asked to meet at the earliest time to decide on a date for the first sitting.
Meanwhile, Opposition Parliamentarian Joseph Harmon, shortly after exiting the meeting explained that “the matter came up for discussion and we decided that the method for fixing dates for the National Assembly to meet would be for the Whips to meet and arrive at a date.”
According the Harmon, “the Whips have been talking and they will soon decide on a date… as of today we don’t have a date coming out of the meeting.”
He explained that the date will need to be convenient for all Parliamentarians to attend; speculating that there will be a sitting before the end of October.
Attending the meeting today were Chairman Raphael Trotman, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Deputy Speaker Basil Williams, Opposition Chief Whip Amna Ally, AFC’s Moses Nagamootoo and of course Joseph Harmon. He said Dr. Rupert Roopnarine was unavoidably absent.
Parliamentarians benefited from almost three months’ vacation since the last sitting before the recess was held on June 18.
Yesterday, the Alliance for Change (AFC) said it was pressing for a sitting of the National Assembly to be called on October 22 or 24; explaining that it is permissible under the Parliamentary Standing Orders.
Last week, AFC had said it desired a sitting on October 16 where the No –Confidence Motion is expected to be tabled and read for the first time. To this end, the AFC says that any sitting for October 16 seems unlikely since no Order Paper has been published.
The AFC believes that the delay is as a result of its tabling the No Confidence Motion. The Motion was submitted to Clerk of the Assembly on August 7. The Speaker of the House, Raphael Trotman has since pronounced that it met the criteria for Motions.
In a letter to the Isaacs, dated October 10, 2014, AFC Executive Member,Moses Nagamootoo, who tabled the Motion, requested that it be placed on the Order Paper as a matter of priority, to take precedence over all other business of the House and for debate at the earliest sitting.
AFC says it is in contact with the Leader of the Opposition, David Granger so that the earliest possible date can be set. Granger has already committed his and the support of his Party to ensuring passage of the Motion.