Govt will not be sidetracked by Opposition Leader – Harmon

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Minister of State, Joseph Harmon says the Government has a mandate to execute and will not be “sidetracked” by the “rantings” of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

“The Guyanese people have elected us to govern this country and we will do so without fear or favour, affection or ill will. There is no statement by him that will push us into any direction that says that we should stop executing the mandate of the people of this country,” Mr Harmon was quoted as saying by the Department of Public Information.

The Opposition Leader on Monday called on the Government to resign in keeping with the Article 106 (6) of the Constitution of Guyana which says the Government should resign after defeated by a No-Confidence motion.

Minister Harmon said the Opposition Leader “needs to know his place – a position he will be in for a very long time,” according to the DPI

The Minister noted that” the people of this country have had enough of his type of leadership… That type of dictatorship that he is accustomed to exercising, the people of Guyana are saying enough of that. We are now looking at a more democratic government.”

The Government was defeated by the No-confidence motion filed by the Opposition Leader after one of its Members of Parliament, Charrandass Persaud voted in favour of the motion in what he said was a conscience vote.

The Government is now expected to call General and Regional elections by March 19, 2018.

However, the Government has since examined other options in what the Opposition Leader said is a bid to stay in office.

Minister Harmon has labelled as rubbish, claims by Jagdeo of the Government having six options to remain in office.

“He has said he has his intelligence. I will ask the police to investigate if this is a legal intercept of telephone conversations or not. Jagdeo will have to explain what this intelligence is he is getting,” Harmon was quoted as saying.

Jagdeo, during an interview with the media on Monday, said the options being looked at include the much publicized meaning of the word “majority” in the constitution from which Attorney at law Nigel Hughes has argued that the Opposition needed 34 of 65 votes for the confidence motion to be valid.

“They are examining options like once you’re committed to a list on a party that you can’t vote against the list, that it will be illegal to do so; that you can go back to Parliament, replace the seat that will now become vacant with Charrandass not there and then you will have 33 and have a new vote to reverse what has happened already.

“The possibility of challenging on the basis of citizenship – that Charrandass may be a citizen abroad but if they challenge him on that then it invalidates all of his other votes before; and we heard that they want to approach the Speaker to have the Speaker reverse his ruling that the No-Confidence motion has been passed validly,” the Opposition Leader told reporters. 

Additionally, Jagdeo alleged that the Government is working to have a private citizen file a case against the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland and Attorney General, Basil Williams “who may then consent to a judgment so you then have a consent judgment that something illegal took place.”

The Opposition Leader has since written to the court informing that his party is available to respond to any such case filed.

He has also met with various heads of international delegations in Guyana on the issue

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