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Update: Jagdeo cautiously optimistic about winning no-confidence motion against govt; likely to be debated after 12 days

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was Thursday guardedly optimistic about winning a no-confidence motion against the David Granger-led administration, and said it would give his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) at least a platform to highlight what he termed failed promises, wastage and corruption by the David Granger-led administration.

“The worst thing that could happen for us is that we lose the no-confidence motion but they will barely survive it by one vote. That is the worst outcome but we may achieve something positive from that; that is to basically reiterate through the debates and send a strong signal to them from the political opposition what the people have said to them through the local government elections that they need to change their ways on almost everything.

“There is a possibility, too, that anything else could happen give what many of their Members of Parliament have been saying privately. Let’s see if that will translate into a vote in the parliament. All it takes is one vote and everything changes,” Jagdeo told Demerara Waves Online News.

Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs confirmed receiving the one-sentence motion moved by Jagdeo and seconded by Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira.

Isaacs on Thursday began compiling advice, based on the standing orders, to dispatch to House Speaker, Dr. Barton Scotland.

If the Speaker gives the final green light, the motion could be included as an ordinary motion on the Order Paper 12 days after November 15, 2018– that is any date after November 27- for debate. That means the motion would not be on the agenda of the sitting scheduled for Friday, November 16, 2018.

Jagdeo said the move was aimed at guarding against excesses of the three-year old administration. The governing coalition holds a one-seat majority in the 65-seat National Assembly against Jagdeo’s People’s Progressive Party.

Jagdeo’s announcement came three days after claiming a popular vote victory in Monday’s local government elections.

Jagdeo later told Demerara Waves Online News that the reasons the last no-confidence motion was filed against the then PPP-led administration by Moses Nagamootoo and Catherine Hughes on August 2104 were baseless.

They included the then Donald Ramotar -led administration had restored the cut budget for the Amerindian Development Fund, school children’s vouchers, hinterland airstrips, among others; alleged unauthorised disbursement of GYD$4 billion to the Guyana Sugar Corporation, alleged corruption with the Amaila Falls Hydropower project and the Marriott Hotel project, monies held by semi-autonomous agencies were being used by the PPP as slush funds.

“They have not proven any of these issues so far. On the other hand, since this government took office we have had taxes increased by sixty billion dollars per year, although they came in on a promise of lower taxes. They came in on a promise of creating more jobs. We lost thirty-thousand jobs. Acts of corruption have been unbelievable,” he said. They included, he said, single-sourcing of drugs from Ansa McAl, the award of a Demerara River crossing feasibility study contract without approval by the Public Procurement Commission, opaque transactions linked to the D’urban Park project, an 18-month long secrecy of the US$18 million signing bonus from ExxonMobil and an increase in cost of living.

The former Guyanese leader said the PPP opted to file the no-confidence motion because Guyana was in a crisis with wastage, spending and poor negotiations that have been sacrificing “our birthright”.

“On almost every single issue they have failed to keep their promises… and therefore if, at that time the circumstances existed for a no-confidence motion, it’s a hundred times worse now given what has happened and then people have expressed through these local government results, even in their own base, an extreme dissatisfaction with their policies at the national level and the country is aimless,” he said.