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Caribbean News Desk radio prog: Guyana’s opposition lashes out at Caricom Chairman… and other stories from across the region

Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014, 22:03 by GxMedia

Caricom Chairman, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Guyana’s Opposition Leader, David Granger has registered his displeasure at the way the 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) has handled his request to intervene in his country’s political impasse.

Mr. Granger had asked that Caricom leaders hold an emergency summit tot pressure President Donald Ramotar to lift the now more than one-month old suspension of Parliament. 

The law-making body was prorogued on November 10, the same day that the opposition-controlled National Assembly had planned to pass a no-confidence motion and inevitably make way for elections in 90 days. 

The Parliamentary prorogation, instead, gives the government six months to run the country without oversight by lawmakers. The President has promised to name a general election date early next year.

Referring to statements by Caricom Chairman, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne that President Donald Ramotar’s suspension or prorogation of the Parliament was constitutional, Mr. Granger told a news conference on Friday that regional leaders are behaving like a club.

“I am not surprised at that. The Heads of Government sometimes behave like a boys and girls club and they tend to support one another,” said Granger.

The Caricom Chairman is already on record as saying that regional leaders do not expect the President to abuse his powers and that elections would be called shortly.

But the Opposition Leader expresses concern that the Caricom Chairman has apparently ignored the Caricom Charter of Civil Society. “We expected that the Chairman of Caricom would refer to the Charter of Civil Society which had been promulgated over fifteen years ago and if he had studied it carefully, he would have seen that President Ramotar was in breach of some of the fundamental elements of that Charter and he would have been more circumspect in his words,” added Granger.

Despite assurances by the Guyanese leader, the opposition is wary that government is using monies from the Treasury to campaign for the upcoming elections.

The Opposition Leader has since taken the government to court to block the spending of monies on projects and programmes that have not been approved or authorized by the National Assembly.

Government has maintained that it is spending is in keeping with Guyana’s Constitution and the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.

The Alliance For  Change (AFC)-sponsored no-confidence motion, which has been backed by Granger’s A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), had been tabled earlier this year because of alleged unauthorised spending of millions of dollars on projects and programmes in the 2014 national budget that have not been approved by the 33 opposition legislators. Other instances cited include the failure to establish the Public Procurement Commission and the government’s disregard for opposition-approved Bills and Motions.




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