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PPP denies inducing APNU’s Volda Lawrence to abstain

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee

The ruling Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) on Monday scoffed at speculation by sections of the public that a parliamentarian for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) might have offered special consideration by government to abstain from a vote for money for the security sector.

“I am not aware of anything like that as the Leader of the PPP and I can’t speak for the government but as a member of the Cabinet I don’t think that that is true,” said PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee.

Rohee refused to speculate why APNU’s Volda Lawrence at last Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly declined to vote against cash for the security sector, he noted that Opposition Leader, David Granger has also taken the matter seriously.

He termed suggestions that Lawrence’s vote was bought by the PPP a “red herring that people are trying to throw into the whole mystery.”

Asked whether it would be politically unwise to offer members of the opposition special considerations, Rohee said “the PPP has nothing special to offer anybody” but hard work to win votes.

“All we got to offer- work on the ground to win votes. If you want to come with us to work with us to offer to win votes on the ground- that’s all we have to offer,” he said.

APNU Chief Whip, Amna Ally has already denied that “there was no sinister move, no deflection”.

Lawrence and Ally have suggested that the abstention could have been avoided if House Speaker, Raphael Trotman had separated each financial paper rather than bunch them together.

Ally said Lawrence was sick and when she returned to the Chamber she was not immediately aware of what was happening and was making signs to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs.

The Opposition Leader has said that an investigation would be launched although he had not regarded her vote as an abstention. “I heard no sound from her and I wouldn’t use the word ‘abstain’ but I certainly heard no sound from her when the vote was taken,” he  said.