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PPP offering “big money” to opposition MPs says AFC; APNU, ruling party deny

The National Assembly’s Chamber

The Alliance For Change (AFC) on Thursday  accused the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) of preparing to buy out at least three opposition parliamentarians at GUY$30 million each to ensure that the no-confidence motion is defeated.

“We’ve gotten reliable information that the PPP’s answer to the no-confidence motion is not like what is being sent now. It’s answer is to at least buy off three parliamentarians at thirty million each to vote ‘no’ rather than ‘yes’ so that all they are saying that they have an option, that is the only option that they have,”  AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan.

But PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee told Demerara Waves Online News that he was unaware of such a move. “I am not aware of  that…. We have never contemplated anything like that,” he said.

He maintained that his party’s seven parliamentarians were ready to vote for solidly for the motion that could come up for debate any time after the parliamentary recess ends on October 10, 2014. He expected that all opposition parliamentarians would be honest with their consciences and the people of Guyana in voting for the motion. “I believe that that the AFC is going to hold true to that position and I am absolutely that they will,” he said.

While Ramjattan could not speak for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), he was “absolutely confident that that party’s 26 MPs would vote solidly for the motion.  “The PPP is on their backs- some members of the opposition- and I wouldn’t want to at this stage dare name them but they are speaking to them- big money,” he said.

APNU spokesman, Mark Archer, however, said that his parliamentary coalition had no knowledge of such an offer. “I am unaware of any such approach being made. APNU had an Executive Council meeting less than 24 hours ago and no such matter was raised,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

 Ramjattan speculated that the government might ask the Constitutional Court to interpret or judicially review the no-confidence motion, but he opined that Chief Justice Ian Chang would discard it.

The AFC-sponsored no confidence motion stems from claims by the opposition that government has been spending monies from the Consolidated Fund without parliamentary approval, refusal by the President to sign into law a number of Bills that the opposition-controlled House has approved, and general bad governance of the country.

The government has repeatedly countered that it has been spending the cash in keeping with the constitution and that the President would not assent Bills that are unconstitutional or did not benefit from the Executive’s input.