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When will Guyana's Parliament reconvene?

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, October 25, 2014 - The Donald Ramotar led government of Guyana is being accused of stalling the reconvening of Parliament as the ruling PPP party is to be afraid of debating the no confidence motion moved against President Donald Ramotar by the AFC.

Guyana’s Parliamentary Opposition: A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and The Alliance For Change (AFC), are anxious to have the resumption of sittings by the National Assembly as its two-month recess, came to an end on October 10.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) together enjoy a one-seat majority in the 65-seat National Assembly and are anxious to debate and vote on a no-confidence motion filed against the President Donald Ramotar by the AFC.

Calls, mainly by the smaller Alliance For Change (AFC) party for the House to be convened, and for that party’s no-confidence motion to be immediately debated have all gone unheeded.  

On Friday, Presidential Advisor Gail Teixeira who is the government’s chief whip in the National Assembly, said that she is awaiting the outcome of the ongoing engagement between President Donald Ramotar and Opposition Leader David Granger before setting a date to reconvene Parliament.

In a statement, Teixeira said that this engagement has to “evolve.” She also insisted that both parties had a tacit understanding the sitting could reconvene early next month. This, she said, was also based on unsuitable proposed dates on both sides.

However General Secretary of APNU Joe Harmon says It is not for the President and the Leader of the Opposition to set a date for the sitting of the National Assembly and for Presidential Advisor Gail Teixeira to suggest that reconvening of the House is dependent on the outcome of their engagement, is “disingenuous.”

The AFC has since written to House Speaker, Raphael Trotman asking him to call a sitting of the House, while the main opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has issued a Joint Statement with the AFC.

However there is concern that even if the Speaker heeds the call by the opposition to convene a sitting, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs may not comply.

Mr Isaacs is already on record as saying that it is the government’s call to decide when the House should meet.  Previous Clerks have refused to comply with directives of other Speakers for the House to meet.

AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan says now that the opposition has a one-seat majority, the Speaker is obliged to listen to the Speaker’s directives.

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