CONFIDENCE MOTION STIPULATIONS WILL BE MET -PRESIDENT
- ANXIOUS TO MEET JAGDEO ON CONCERNS
While assuring that government will abide by the constitutional requirements following Friday’s passage of a no-confidence motion against his administration, President David Granger yesterday said that he is anxious to meet with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to discuss his concerns.
This is according to a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency which did not give a definite date for a meeting between the two leaders.
“Mr. Jagdeo contacted the Minister of State and a meeting will be arranged as early as possible so that his concerns can be addressed,” the statement quoted the president as saying.
The meeting will have to be set around the president’s scheduled trips to Cuba where he is receiving chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a form of cancer. He was diagnosed in November after travelling to the island for medical investigations. The trip was prompted by an earlier visit to Trinidad where doctors discovered some symptoms which needed further investigation. So far he has had surgery and has undergone chemotherapy treatments.
Contacted yesterday, Deputy Director of Press Affairs at the Ministry of the Presidency (MotP), Ariana Gordon informed that the president will return to Cuba later this week and reminded that in an earlier press release it was stated that he has trips scheduled until May, 2019.
It doesn’t appear likely that the meeting would take place before the end of the year.
In the statement from the Ministry of the Presidency, the President said that his government will embark on discussions with its coalition partners the Alliance for Change (AFC) and those who are part of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
“We will do everything necessary to facilitate the smooth functioning of General and Regional Elections bearing in mind the need for normal governmental functions to continue uninterrupted,” Granger said.
The President added that he is anxious to engage Jagdeo on any concerns he may have and assured the Guyanese people “that this is not a crisis which could dissolve into any type of confrontation.”
Jagdeo’s motion of noconfidence was crafted on the heels of the November 12 local government elections where the PPP/C stormed to impressive wins. The motion was passed after government MP Charrandas Persaud voted for it. This meant that 33 persons voted in favour while 32 voted against.
Stunned after the parliamentary defeat, the government called a press conference at Parliament Building and said that prior to the commencement of the debate of the PPP/C’s no confidence motion, Persaud had given no indication that he was in support of it.
“He did not indicate. I think that we were totally betrayed by Mr. Charrandas’ actions tonight. We had no indication that that was the way he was going to go,” a visibly shocked Opposition Chief Whip Amna Ally said during the press conference.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo during the press conference noted that after a no-confidence motion is approved by a majority of all the elected
members, the House is directed by Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution, which in summary states that upon the passage of a no confidence motion in the House, the government shall resign and hold elections within three months, unless otherwise decided for a longer period in which elections could be held by two thirds of the members of the National Assembly.
Nagamootoo informed that given the development, government will be seeking legal advice.
“As it is, the Assembly has not met and that is another issue before us but the government remains in office until such time as elections are called and this is matter that will engage the attention of the government and our legal advisors as to what are the options available and what are the timelines for those options,” he said before reiterating that as the constitution states elections are to be held within 90 days.
He later expressed confidence that government will return to power despite the poor showing of its supporters at the just concluded local government elections.