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GUYANA-POLITICS- Britain calls for swift resumption of Parliament

Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014, 14:50 by GxMedia

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Andrew Ayre

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Andrew Ayre on Monday called for the swift resumption of Parliament, one week after President Donald Ramotar suspended (prorogued) the law-making body to avoid a no-confidence vote against his administration.

“The central message is absolutely clear: Parliament should re-sit in Guyana and get on with the business of taking this country forward,” he said, adding that all parliamentarians have a duty to assist in that process. ““The UK (United Kingdom) believes that the central pillar of democracy is parliament and, therefore, parliament should re-sit with the shortest possible delay.”

Speaking with reporters after the opening of a two-week workshop on asset seizure under the Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act, the British High Commissioner highlighted the way the constitution was used.

“The constitution, while it gives the President the right to prorogue parliament, it also gives the right for the majority of MPs (members of parliament) to dissolve the Parliament essentially and have new elections. These things aren’t mutually exclusive,” he said.

Asked whether he thought the President should revoke the suspension even in the face of a no-confidence motion, he said that was  a matter for Guyanese politicians to address. The opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) has vowed to re-table the no-confidence motion if the suspension is lifted, and the President has insisted that he would dissolve the law-making body and call early general elections if there is no likelihood of political talks with the combined opposition AFC and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) that together hold a one-seat majority in the 65-seat National Assembly.