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APNU’s Sharma Solomon favours no-confidence vote; PPP wants Granger kicked out

Amid assertions by the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) that the Alliance For Change’s (AFC) push for a no-confidence motion against the government is aimed at influencing this weekend’s congress of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), one of the latter party’s candidates promises to support the vote if elected party leader.

Region 10 Chairman, Sharma Solomon said in a statement that no time should be wasted in pushing the no-confidence vote that would inevitably result in the President and his cabinet resigning and the country preparing for early general election.

“It should be swiftly and decisively!  After so many years of poor governance, what more chances do they need?  Tough decisions have got to be made,” he said in a lengthy statement on his nomination for the posts of PNCR Leader, Chairman, Vice Chairman and Central Executive member.

The AFC and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – in which the PNCR is the major partner- have been holding talks about using their combined 33-seat majority in the House to pass the no-confidence motion.

AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan has gone as far as formally telling President Donald Ramotar that there is no other option but the no-confidence motion due to government spending money from the Consolidated Fund on projects that were voted down in the Committee of Supply during consideration of the 2014 Budget estimates of expenditure. Ramotar, in reply, has reiterated that the monies have been spent in accordance with Guyana’s Constitution, the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act and a High Court ruling on budget cuts.

But the PPP has accused the AFC of heightening its threat of bringing a no-confidence motion to the House to influence the outcome of the PNCR’s Congress and steal APNU support.

“The AFC’s call for such a motion at this time is aimed at influencing delegates who will be attending the PNC’s upcoming Congress. That is one of the motives behind the no confidence “threat”.

We know that the AFC has been losing support and its membership is hemorrhaging badly, it wants to regain its support but this time at the expense of the APNU,” said the PPP.

In what appears to be an unprecedented move by either of Guyana’s two major political parties, the PPP on Wednesday called on PNCR members to kick out incumbent Leader, David Granger because he was politically incompetent and inexperienced. “The PNC at its upcoming Congress  should consider dumping Granger from its leadership since he has proven himself a non-stellar performer and a failed leader,”  the PPP said in a statement.

The PPP accused Granger of sidelining seasoned politicians and replacing them with former members of the police and defence forces. He is coming up against Solomon and Aubrey Norton.

While the Region 10 Chairman vowed to back moves to pass the no-confidence motion in the Ramotar administration, he also left wide open the prospects of the government remaining in office with its one-seat majority in the 65-seat Assembly.

“The people have given the opposition the majority in parliament and this majority must be used to put pressure on the government to manage the affairs of government in the interest of all the nations’ people,” said Sharma.

He wants the opposition to use its majority to galvanise local and international support for respect for the Constitution and the will of the people.  “Power when gained must be used effectively. We are yet to see this applied consistently with the one seat majority.,” he said.

Government and the governing party have been emphasising in recent weeks that it is ready to face the electorate if the no-confidence motion is passed.