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Guyanese MPs refuse to attend parliamentary conference in Africa over Ebola fears

House Speaker, Raphael Trotman flanked by (left) Parliament Office’s PRO, Onieka Alphonso and Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs.

Guyanese parliamentarians are among several from across the Caribbean who have refused to travel to Cameroon for fear of the deadly Ebola virus, House Speaker Raphael Trotman said Tuesday.

He told a news conference that while Cameroon was not directly affected by Ebola, a number of Caribbean countries have decided taken a precautionary decision not to attend the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference scheduled to be held from October 2 to 10 in Yaounde.

“Because of obvious public health issues pertaining to Ebola and so forth, the decision was taken not to send that delegation,” he said. Guyana’s delegation would have been Deputy House Speaker, Basil Williams; Trevor Williams of the Alliance For Change (AFC) and Transport Minister, Robeson Benn.

He added that several other Caribbean countries have also decided not to field delegations to the conference for the same reason.

The Guyanese House Speaker noted that most persons were more concerned about being quarantined, kept for observation for a few days and placed on a “watch-list for some time to come.”

“It was not considered in our best interest to field a delegation to Cameroon,” he said.

The House Speaker referred to the decision by Guyanese MPs not to attend to make the point that all MPs are expected to be in Guyana for the next sitting of the House whenever it is called, most likely to begin debate on the Alliance For Change (AFC)-sponsored no-confidence motion.