Opposition files No-Confidence motion against Gov’t

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Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday submitted a No-Confidence motion to Parliament against the APNU+AFC Government.

The motion follows several allegations of corruption against the current administration during its three years in office.

“We’re hoping that this No-confidence motion can shake this Government back to its senses and stop it from destroying our future through their borrowing, taxing, wasteful spending policies which would warn us in the post-2020 period,” Mr Jagdeo told a news conference on Thursday at his Church Street, Georgetown office.

Mr Jagdeo premised his motion on the Government’s actions which led to the loss of thousands of jobs in the sugar industry, increase in taxes, increase in the cost of living and allegations of corruption in the Health and Infrastructure sectors.

The Opposition Leader said, “this Government has no vision.”

“We’re drifting, they have no plans for Guyana…they’re using our money on rentals…cost of living has gone up, (they are engaged in) bad negotiations…they have borrowed nearly US$9M dollars…they’re damaging our future,” Mr Jagdeo noted.

He made reference to the breach of procurement laws when the Dutch company was awarded a $148M contract for a feasibility study for a new bridge design across the Demerara River, the audit conducted into the controversial D’urban Park Project, and questionable drug purchases.

According to the Opposition Leader, this Government’s wrongs are worst than those outlined in 2014 when the PPP/C was booted from office.

He also pointed to the US$18M signing bonus that the Government did not transfer to the consolidated fund.

He likened it to protests against monies held in accounts belonging to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) which the APNU and AFC had called to be transferred to the consolidated fund.

The AFC, which now forms part of the coalition Government, in August 2014 submitted a No-Confidence motion against the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government.

The motion was based on the spending of approximately $22.5 million which was cut from the annual Budget without parliamentary approval on items ranging from school stipends to an airport expansion project.

To dodge the motion at a time when he was leading a minority Government, former President Donald Ramotar dissolved the Parliament and the country went to an early General and Regional Elections in 2015.

However, unlike in 2014, the Government now holds the majority of the seats in Parliament and as such, it is unlikely that the motion will receive a majority vote.

But Mr Jagdeo is still hopeful and said: “anything is possible in life, and in Parliament.”

He said there are several Government Members of Parliament who have expressed dissatisfaction with the administration’s ways of doing things and he hopes that can be reflected in the votes on the motion.

The Opposition Leader, on the other hand, said: “whether we win the no-confidence motion or not…it will force them to correct their ways.”

Some of the things he wants to be corrected are the restoration of the water subsidy for pensioners, $10,000 grants for school children, a bonus for disciplined services and movement on the constitutional reform process.

He also wants removal of Value Added Tax from water, electricity, medical services, reduction of excise tax on fuel, restoration of 2% final tax for miners, reversal of fees for University of Guyana and the reversal of an increase in land and water charges by the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary/Agriculture Development Agency (MMA/ADA).

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