GUYANA-Government says it will not defer debate on vote of no confidence

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The Guyana government says it has no intention of postponing debate on an opposition inspired vote of no confidence against it amid media reports that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was seeking a postponement of the debate to until after the Christmas period.

But in a statement, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said if the media reports are true, is yet another “bizarre” move by Jagdeo, who had wanted the motion debate before the passage of the national budget.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo (left) and Opposition Leader Bharat Jagdeo

The budget was passed last weekend and the government had set December 21 for the start of the debate on the motion of no confidence.

“Now with the motion being imminent he is seeking to delay. It can mean only one thing – that Jagdeo knows there is absolutely no chance of success. Let it be heard and let it be defeated,” Nagamootoo said in the statement.

The David Granger led coalition government holds a slender one-seat majority in the 65-member National Assembly, and has been critical of the move by Jagdeo to file the motion f no confidence at the time when President Granger is undergoing medical treatment both here and in Cuba for cancer.

Nagamootoo said that since coming to office in May 2015, the coalition has been working “tirelessly” to deal with what he termed “all the mountain of literal and figurative garbage that we inherited from the Jagdeo-Ramotar era.

“Jagdeo now seeks to lump this motion – which amounts to nothing more than a political bluff – onto the pile. Now that the real motive of this desperate act is being exposed, Jagdeo is seeking to back away but as we had called for before – bring it on. We in the coalition government are ready and willing to defend our record,” Nagamootoo said, adding “there is no point in taking this deadweight motion into the new year”.

Jagdeo, a former president, said whether the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wins or loses the no confidence motion, he believes the country will benefit from the debate surrounding it, “because we believe we will get a chance once again to point out what the electorate said to them when they rejected them at these polls, that their policies are all wrong and damaging our prospects for the future and the well-being of all of our people across Guyana.”

He told a news conference Monday that while the government is saying one thing publicly, he knows for sure that privately, they are panicking.

“And that panic state of uncertainty has caused them to resort to the old PNC (People’s National Congress) way of doing things. So I know for sure that apart from the occasional threats to our MPs, passed on in a joking manner, they are threats”, he said.

Jagdeo said the coalition government has become “arrogant”, especially with the way it is addressing criticism and concerns. He noted that, that is one of the reasons behind the no confidence motion.

But Nagamootoo, who is also acting President, said that Jagdeo “is acutely aware that the motion has no prospect of success, and it is an abuse of parliamentary time and waste of  taxpayers’ money to convene a sitting of the National Assembly only to be told that he is not ready or prepared.

“As the mover of the motion, he would be better advised to withdraw the motion, not to defer its rejection,” Nagamootoo added.

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