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Govt rules out calling early elections ahead of no-confidence motion

Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon

The Guyana government on Wednesday ruled out calling an early election to forestall an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion that would inevitably lead to general elections within three months.

“If one were to examine it closely, we are summoned to a trial by the parliamentary opposition, addressing charges that lead to a question of loss of confidence – no-confdence- and I don’t believe when/ you are summoned to a trial of that sort…you have to participate and we will be there to defend the track record of this administration and in the rest of Guyana, regionally and internationally,” said Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon.

He brushed aside questions about the logic of the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPPC) record being blemished by a no-confidence motion. “We need to dispense with this notion that this administration, to counter a likely outcome of a no-confidence motion would seek to introduce some snap-elections. It wouldn’t happen,” he said.

Luncheon effectively ruled out President Donald Ramotar avoiding the no-confidence motion by naming the election date and dissolving the Parliament. He said government preferred to yield to the motion and defend its record.

The Alliance For Change (AFC)-sponsored motion is expected to be debated by the 65-seat National Assembly when the parliamentary recess ends on October 10. A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has already pledged its 26 seats in support of the AFC’s seven to have the motion passed. The PPPC has 32 seats, amounting to a one-seat minority. 

Luncheon noted that from all accounts, including preparations by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the country was on track for general and regional elections rather than local government elections.