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Guyana's joint opposition calls for int'l mediation

Featured AFC Chairman, Nigel Hughes addressing an APNU rally at the Square of the Revolution Friday night. AFC Chairman, Nigel Hughes addressing an APNU rally at the Square of the Revolution Friday night.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, November 15, - Guyana's  joint parliamentary opposition has called on the international community to dispatch a team of mediators to break what has been referred to as the political impasse with the government following the suspension of Parliament earlier in the week.

Addressing thousands of supporters at the anti parliamentary prorogation rally at the Square of the Revolution here late Friday, the parliamentary opposition alliance - A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) said it was tired of talks with the government that only “yield agreements and decisions that the are not implemented.”

However according to executive member, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, talk that opposition leader David Granger has shut the door to future discussions with the government is “utter rubbish”.

“We have been entirely willing to sit with them and hold discussions and come to agreements but I ask you what is the point of sitting with them and coming to agreements when they will not implement what they themselves have agreed to do.

So we are not saying that we are unprepared to speak. What we are unprepared to do is to waste time in futile discussions with anybody.”

AFC Chairman, Nigel Hughes said he hoped that international partners could help in the constitutional crisis.

“The Alliance For Change is further calling on the international community to come to the assistance of Guyana by engaging all parties and civil society in a formal structured dialogue on the restoration of normality in the governance of this country which means the immediate reconvening of Parliament,” said Hughes who also added that constitutional reform would be the only lasting solution to Guyana’s problems.

The crowd was also told of plans to have talks with trade unions, and religious organizations on the way forward. “We intend to mobilize a broad coalition of forces to fight for the restoration of democracy,” said Roopnaraine.

President Donald Ramotar has justified the decision to prorogue Parliament saying he had earlier indicated a desire for the National Assembly, in its post-recess sittings, to deliberate and give priority to important matters relating to the development of the country.

But according to the APNU, the government prorogued Parliament in a bid to prevent a motion of no confidence against it, claimed that “President Donald Ramotar and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) minority have never accepted the will of the majority.

The APNU, which together with the AFC controlled 33 seats in the outgoing 65-member Parliament in a release, issued earlier in the week, said Ramotar “has now single-handedly engineered a constitutional crisis”.

The opposition has already threatened to re-table the no-confidence motion if Parliament is reconvened.

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