As Friday nears for debate on the opposition People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP)-sponsored no-confidence motion, that party has formally asked the Guyana Police Force to prevent what it says is a plot to stage disruptions before, during and after the debate.
“We, therefore, call on you to take the necessary interventions to ensure that the rule of law prevails and not only the sitting of the National Assembly on December 21, 2018 will be allowed to proceed peacefully but also the safety of citizens beyond the precincts of the Parliament Buildings and property, life and limb will be protected from any efforts to create violence and mayhem,” Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira said in a letter to Police Commissioner Leslie James.
She did not name any specific group or opposition. A Guyana government spokesman did not immediately react to the PPP’s concerns. Government has repeatedly expressed confidence that all of its 33 parliamentarians would vote against the motion by the 32-seat opposition.
Teixeira informed him that the “matter of serious proportions relating to public safety and the security of the National Assembly, the Parliament Buildings and all Guyanese citizens” includes an attempt to prevent PPP parliamentarians from entering Parliament Building for the debate and after the vote on the motion tabled by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
Teixeira detailed that the plan includes invading the National Assembly’s Chamber at Parliament Building to disrupt the sitting. “Our information points to some very ominous plans to physically disrupt the sitting by either invading the Chambers, and, or, creating disruption within the Chambers. The intention is to interrupt the debate and the vote on the No Confidence Motion,” she told James.
The Opposition Chief Whip urged the Police Commissioner to also take note of plans to create unrest after the vote by “threatening the safety of citizens going about their business beyond the precincts of the Parliament Buildings.”
Teixeira, a former presidential adviser on governance up to 2015, said the PPP remainedconfident that the Guyana Police Force “will uphold the law and manage any threats to the public safety of the Members of the National Assembly, the Parliament Buildings and the citizens of our country.”
She said she has also brought the PPP’s concerns to the attention of House Speaker, Dr. Barton Scotland.