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Ramotar to call General elections if opposition pushes no-confidence motion; Local Govt elections possibly next year

Guyana’s President, Donald Ramotar Tuesday night announced that general and regional elections would be held soon if the opposition refuses to deal with important national issues on the parliamentary agenda when the National Assembly resumes sittings on Monday and instead pushes ahead with its no-confidence motion.

“I disclose these, my intentions, on the assumption that the post recess sittings of the National Assembly would proceed uninterruptedly, deliberating on the urgent matters I have listed in the interest of the people of Guyana.

 I also wish to declare that were this not to be so, and I am provided with reasons to believe that the Parliamentary Opposition intends to disrupt Government’s business by forcing a debate on their No Confidence Motion, I resolve to respond immediately by exercising my Constitutional options to either Prorogue or Dissolve Parliament paving the way for holding of General Elections,” he said in an address to the nation.

The  major opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has repeatedly pledged to support the Alliance For Change (AFC)-sponsored no-confidence motion when it comes up for debate in the House.

But from all accounts, the government has decided that it would not allow the motion to be debated and make way for the President and his cabinet and early general elections in 90 days.

The  President also announced that Local Government Elections would be held during the second quarter of 2015- that’s any date between April 1 and June 30 pending further consultations with the Guyana Elections Commission on its preparations. In this regard, he noted that the Guyana Elections Commission would require six months to prepare for Local Government Elections under the new Local Government Electoral system.

The President identified a number of government’s legislative priorities that he hoped the opposition-controlled National Assembly would address. They are the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Legislation and the repercussions of Guyana’s non-compliance on both the economy and the lives of our citizens; the Telecommunications Legislation with its intended Liberalisation of the Telecom Sector; the Education Bill and its sweeping overhaul of public education that lifts every child in Guyana, and Financial Papers providing for  expenditure of Public Funds for development projects and improving the welfare of our people.

“The parliamentary recess has ended. That is why the National Assembly must resume its deliberations to address several very important matters that were on the Order Paper but not completed at the beginning of the recess as well as new matters. These matters will allow us, all our people, to builda better society and a more resilient economy,” he added.

When the National Assembly resumes sittings, it would be the first since the two-month recess ended on October 10. The House last met on July 10 and was adjourned to a date to be fixed.