In anticipation of the debate, the Opposition PPP claims there is a plot to stage disruption before, during and after the debate, and has therefore asked the Guyana police force to take steps to prevent any disruption that may arise.
“We, therefore, call on you to take the necessary interventions to ensure that the rule of law prevails and not only the sitting of the National Assembly on December 21, 2018 will be allowed to proceed peacefully but also the safety of citizens beyond the precincts of the Parliament Buildings and property, life and limb will be protected from any efforts to create violence and mayhem,” Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira said in a letter to Police Commissioner Leslie James.
Teixeira informed the Police Commissioner that the “matter of serious proportions relating to public safety and the security of the National Assembly, the Parliament Buildings and all Guyanese citizens” includes an attempt to prevent PPP parliamentarians from entering Parliament Building for the debate and after the vote on the motion tabled by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
The Opposition Chief Whip detailed that the plan includes invading the National Assembly’s Chamber at Parliament Building to disrupt the sitting. “Our information points to some very ominous plans to physically disrupt the sitting by either invading the Chambers, and, or, creating disruption within the Chambers. The intention is to interrupt the debate and the vote on the No Confidence Motion,” she told James.
She urged the Police Commissioner to also take note of plans to create unrest after the vote by “threatening the safety of citizens going about their business beyond the precincts of the Parliament Buildings.”
The Government, on the other hand, has not reacted to the Opposition concerns, but has repeatedly expressed confidence that all of its 33 parliamentarians would vote against the motion by the 32-seat opposition, while at the same time maintaining that the Opposition’s action is part of its plan to undermine the government.
The motion was submitted to the Parliament Office in mid-November, a couple of days after it was announced that President Granger was suffering from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a type of cancer, and would require regular treatment abroad.
In addition, the Opposition demanded that Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo vacate his seat whenever he performs the functions of Head of State. However, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, asked that the matter be dealt with by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional Reform.
Prime Minister Nagamootoo in a statement said the opposition leader and his team were exploiting the President’s illness.
“We know too that the Jagdeo-led opposition has caused the Guyanese people some distress and hurt by unconscionably attempting to exploit the illness of President David Granger to unseat me as Prime Minister.
They then resisted the pro-people $300.7 Billion 2019 Budget. Both gambits failed to derail the Parliament and government. The resort to a no-confidence motion is the third in a tripod of destabilisation, and it is also doomed to failure. The correct and honourable thing for Jagdeo is not to postpone his defeat but to withdraw the motion,” he said.
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