No confidence motion likely to trigger general election
President Donald Ramotar of Guyana has made it clear in an address to the nation that a proposed motion of no confidence planned by the opposition to take place when the National Assembly convenes this month would trigger a general election.
The President’s People’s Progressive Party–Civic emerged as the largest party with 32 of the 65 National Assembly seats in the 2011 election but has been governing as a minority government. The opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) with 26 seats and the Alliance for Change (AFC) with seven seats have come together to call the motion of no confidence.
The National Assembly will meet on 10th November.
The text of the President’s address to the nation as published in the Stabroek News is as follows:
“Address to the Nation by His Excellency Donald Ramotar
President of the Republic Of Guyana
November 4, 2014
I have decided to address you on the important matters of the convening of Parliament and Elections.
There are those who want to divide Guyana and take us back into the past. But the future belongs to all of us. And that future we are building every day, together.
The parliamentary recess has ended. That is why the National Assembly must resume its deliberations to address several very important matters that were on the Order Paper but not completed at the beginning of the recess as well as new matters. These matters will allow us, all our people, to build a better society and a more resilient economy.
In keeping with our traditions and a recent pledge, I now announce Monday, November 10th, 2014 as the date of the first post-recess sitting of the National Assembly.
Some of these matters before the National Assembly that hold the key to our future, include: –
1. The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Legislation and the repercussions of Guyana’s non-compliance on both the economy and the lives of our citizens;
2. The Telecommunications Legislation with its intended Liberalisation of the Telecom Sector:
3. The Education Bill and its sweeping overhaul of public education that lifts every child in Guyana:
4. Financial Papers providing for expenditure of Public Funds for development projects and improving the welfare of our people:
In addition to those matters is the timing of the much needed Local Government elections.
Fellow Guyanese, you are aware that the Opposition has tabled a motion of No Confidence against my Administration. If this is passed, it will lead to General Elections.
Further I have been advised that the Guyana Elections Commission will require six months to prepare for Local Government Elections under the new local Government electoral system. Pending further consultations with the Guyana Elections Commission on its preparations, I also now announce my intention to hold Local Government Elections in the Second Quarter of next year, 2015.
I disclose these, my intentions, on the assumption that the post recess sittings of the National Assembly would proceed uninterruptedly, deliberating on the urgent matters I have listed in the interest of the people of Guyana.
I also wish to declare that were this not to be so, and I am provided with reasons to believe that the Parliamentary Opposition intends to disrupt Government’s business by forcing a debate on their No Confidence Motion, I resolve to respond immediately by exercising my Constitutional options to either Prorogue or Dissolve Parliament paving the way for holding of General Elections.
Guyana deserves better than political games that serve to only benefit a select few while damaging the welfare of the people of Guyana.
Your Government remains committed to forging partnership and taking appropriate actions in the interest of the stability, unity and prosperity of our dear country.
The future of Guyana is bright, but all of our progress will be lost without a combined effort to move our country forward.