Less than one day before the Alliance For Change (AFC) presented its No Confidence Motion to the National Assembly on Thursday, that party warned of street protests and international isolation if government ignores the vote by the opposition-controlled House.
AFC General Secretary, David Patterson on Thursday delivered the motion to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs in that party’s clearest signal ever that it is serious about ousting the Donald Ramotar administration from office about two years earlier and have Guyanese return to the polls. “We assured that we are committed to following through with our actions but obviously no one can stop the President from calling a snap election,” he told reporters.
Delivery of the motion came two days after the 26-seat A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) officially committed to vote for the motion when it goes before the House.
While House Speaker, Raphael Trotman and Opposition Leader, David Granger have said that the 65-seat House would not consider the motion before the parliamentary recess begins on August 10, Patterson left open the possibility of the combined opposition prevailing on the Speaker to call an urgent sitting. “If a case can be made to the Speaker that this is a matter of such importance, he has the authority to summon a meeting of the parliament in extraordinary time,” said Patterson.
Appearing on AFC-sponsored television programme on CNS-TV6, party Chairman Nigel Hughes cautioned that the country would be going into “very dark territory” and Guyanese could take to the streets if the PPP-C opts to ignore an approved no-confidence motion. “I am sure if we were to reach that stage, there would be protests. There is no foreign government that is going to come in and take the government out of office but it will be up to us the citizens to do what is necessary,” he said.
President Donald Ramotar has repeatedly committed his administration to honouring the confidence vote and returning to the polls within three months in keeping with the Constitution.
AFC Vice Chairman, Moses Nagamootoo added Guyana could be declared a “pariah” State and economic, diplomatic and other sanctions could be imposed if the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led administration violates the Constitution. “Guyana would be isolated in the Caribbean. We would become a pariah State….Guyana will be a pariah in the international world,” he said.
Western Nations have already accused the Ramotar administration of violating Guyana’s constitution and law as well as international law by failing to hold local government elections since 1997.
The AFC-sponsored no-confidence motion has been triggered by the Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh spending GUY$4.5 billion from the Consolidated Fund on projects and programmes that the combined opposition had disapproved during consideration of the 2014 estimates of expenditure.
Government has maintained that it has followed the law and the Constitution in spending the monies and taking a Statement of Excesses to the House for approval. The Assembly is yet to consider that statement, and it is quite likely that more money is being spent.