By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is vehemently protesting a motion passed in the National Assembly on Thursday, August 20 to limit the number of days to consider the 2015 Budget.
The Party is also enraged over what they see as an attempt to “muzzle” the Opposition by not having the Opposition Leader be the penultimate speaker on the $221 billion budget.
The motion to limit the consideration days to three was moved by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who brought the motion to the House stated that it was to expedite the passing of the Budget.
But the PPP is having none of it and insists that there is an ulterior motive to the motion.
“They are afraid of several elements of the budget…If anything I thought they would give us more time rather than less time to consider the estimates,” said Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.
“I was here in the past and sat on the other side and saw the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Desmond Hoyte speak fr two hours and we voted on the other side to allow him until he finished his speech…so they are not only seeking to limit my speech to 45 minutes…this is part of a pattern to muzzle us…we will never become victims,” said Jagdeo.
Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira is of the view that it is an attempt to “disrespect” the Opposition Leader. Meanwhile, several PPP members voiced their concern over the motion.
“It has been a maximum of seven days for years, whether the House finishes has to do with the questions asked,” said Teixeira adding that in total, it would amount to 27 hours to consider the Budget.
“The ten regions have some rather revealing information which the public needs to know about… it is a real erosion of the right of the people and the representatives of the people,” said the Chief Whip.
General Secretary Clement Rohee regarded the situation as a “cover up” and an “anti-Jagdeo” agenda.