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Caribbean News Desk for Mon Jan 12, 2015….”We don’t have to listen to what Britain says”- Rohee

General Secretary of the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Clement Rohee

Amidst mounting calls from the United Kingdom (UK) for an end to the prorogation of the Guyana Parliament, People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) General Secretary Clement Rohee says Guyana does not have to listen to what Britain says.

His statements came Monday during the party’s press conference when asked how he felt that prorogation, as practiced in Guyana, is being criticized by the residentHigh Commissioner of the jurisdiction in which it originated.

Last Thursday the UK’s ForeignOffice Minister, Tobias Ellwood, called for the earliest possible resumption of Parliament, and this morning UK High Commissioner to Guyana, Andrew Ayre, iterated that call.

Rohee though, says“This country has gotten its independence from Britain since 1966, we don’t have to listen to what Britain says in respect to such pronouncements (the use of prorogation), this is an independent country.The British have their own arrangements there too.”

He further said that whether prorogation was adopted from the UK it resides in Guyana’s constitution and is open to use. “This constitution is a Guyana constitution…whatever is in the constitution now, prorogation or whatever is there was adopted by the Guyanese people.”

While asserting Guyana’s independence though, Rohee said he understood the rationale for such statements. “It is quite understandable for them to be concerned about elections in Guyana as donors and so forth but I think there is a limit to which they should go when dealing with such matters.” Rohee said though, that in the current case the PPP/C thinks the High Commissioner went “beyond the pale,” and he added that “as I see it, it looks to me that some members of the diplomatic corps are being more and more involved in our internal affairs, especially when it comes to the holding of elections.”

Ayre Monday said that “external investor confidence takes a further knock as insecurity around Guyana’s future prospects decreases the appetite of investors to take the risk of investing whilst pushing up the cost of doing so.” Rohee, however, believes that whatever uncertainty abounds is the result of impending elections.

“If anything like that is happening it has to be the fact that elections is in the air…this is not unusual or peculiar to this point in time, every time there is elections going on or about to be held in any country you have these kinds of concerns being expressed,” he shared.

Asked if he knows when the President will finally dissolve Parliament and call general elections he said “I don’t know how long this prorogation period will last, but constitutionally it could last for a period of time.” He noted though, that the president is currently overseas and cannot be expected to make such a pronouncement while out of the jurisdiction.”

Several hours before the National Assembly was to debate, and likely pass, a no-confidence motion against government President Donald Ramotar prorogued Parliament on November 10. He had stated that his reason was to hold talks with the Alliance for Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to cut a path forward but both parties have ruled out any dialogue during the prorogation.

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD OR LISTEN TO THIS EDITION OF CARIBBEAN NEWS DESK HERE {mp3remote}https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/143143643/caribnewsdesk/caribnews_jan12_2015.MP3{/mp3remote}

In this edition…

Seven dead in St Vincent as bus plunges into sea

Britain piles pressure on Guyana over democracy; ruling party says it doesn’t have to listen

The Dominican Republic and the United States sign new extradition agreement

The British Virgin Islands changes laws to cater for renewable energy

And we hear about cigar-smoking women in Cuba