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Caribbean News Desk radio prog: Guyana’s House Speaker asks Commonwealth to intervene but the President says not yet

The Speaker of Guyana’s National Assembly, Raphael Trotman today asked the Commonwealth Secretariat to intervene in that country’s political impasse that has deepened since the Parliament was prorogued earlier this week.

President Donald Ramotar’s prorogation of the Parliament to avoid a no-confidence motion being debated and approved by the opposition-controlled National Assembly has widened the rift.

While the President told a news conference Friday afternoon that he is assembling a negotiating team and that he will be inviting the Opposition very shortly to talks, they have bluntly refused to speak with government unless the Parliament is reconvened.

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Opposition Leader, David Granger has since publicly called on the army and police chiefs to desist from preventing peaceful street protests.

House Speaker Trotman, who has been updating the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) on the situation in Guyana, has since written to the Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma urging him to intervene by sending a delegation to meet with all sides.

The Speaker hopes that the Commonwealth Secretariat can assist in bringing what he terms an unhealthy situation to a peaceful end.

But the President says that he prefers Guyanese to first attempt to resolve their issues before seeking the assistance of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) or the Commonwealth.

The Organisation of American States, Roman Catholic Church and sections of the private sector have all called on the President to revoke the suspension of the Parliament.