The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP)-sponsored no-confidence motion against the Guyana government would be debated after the passage of the 2019 National Budget and estimates of expenditure, top government officials said Friday.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said the motion, submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, could be debated after the 15th or 16th of December “or perhaps later.” The Prime Minister made known government’s position after receiving a copy of a letter that the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs dispatched to Jagdeo.
Budget Day 2019 is slated for November 26 after which the 65-seat National Assembly would meet the following two weeks to debate and consider the estimates of expenditure.
Isaacs has already said that it is the government’s prerogative to decide when a no-confidence motion is placed on the Order Paper for debate.
Nagamootoo said with the motion would require 33 elected members of the National Assembly for its passage, but if one government parliamentarian abstains there would be a tie. “If a motion is tied, the mover loses the motion so it is defeated so there is no logical argument that this motion can succeed,” he said on government’s Department of Public Information (DPI) Facebook page.
Earlier Friday, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge stopped short of challenging the PPP to get a majority vote in the House against the government which, he said, would have the same effect of a no-confidence motion. “When you see an opposition around the time of the budget still coming with a no-confidence motion, you know it’s a joke because it has the same effect. Why would you put a no-confidence motion when you can simply take the vote in relation to a budgetary matter and vote against it and bring the government down. We are into jokes,” he said.
“If you want to bring down a government, vote down any of the instruments or the whole Appropriation Bill,” he added. “If a government fails to win the passage of their Appropriation Bill, it has to resign. A no confidence motion does the same thing,” he added.
Like the Prime Minister, he said debate on the no-confidence motion would have to await the completion of government business and in particular the budget.
Jagdeo filed the no-confidence motion on November 15, 2018, citing alleged corruption, mismanagement and deteriorated standard of living due to increased taxes and increased job losses.