PPP says Thursday’s Parliamentary sitting ‘should not be held’

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The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, to say that Thursday’s sitting of the house should not be held, insisting that it is in violation of the Constitution.

In a letter to Dr. Barton Scotland, the PPP pointed out that in accordance with Article 106(6) of the Constitution, the Cabinet, including the President shall resign upon the passing of a No Confidence Motion.

The motion was passed by a 33-majority vote in the House on December 21, 2018.

“Consequently, it is not competent for the Government to move, nor participate in, a sitting of the National Assembly, otherwise than to give effect, if required, to the letter and spirit of Article 106(7) of the Constitution,” Gail Teixeira, the Parliamentary Opposition Chief Whip wrote in the letter dated December 31, 2018.

She added: “In this regard, the Parliamentary Opposition is of the view that the business that is scheduled to be considered by the National Assembly on the 3rd January 2019, is not in compliance with Article 106(7) of the Constitution.

“Therefore, any sitting of the National Assembly that is not in compliance with this article is a violation of the Constitution.”

The Government in a statement Wednesday said: “the Speaker ought to be allowed to pronounce on the constitutional threshold for a confidence vote, without pressure or threats of any kind.”

The Government claimed to have credible evidence that the Opposition intends to disrupt Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly at which the Speaker is expected to address the consequences of the December 21 vote.

The Government has asked the Speaker to review and possibly reverse the declaration passing the No Confidence motion after 33 voted in favour and 32 against.

While the Government initially accepted defeat and said it would abide by the Constitution and prepare for general elections, it now claims that an interpretation of the relevant constitutional provisions for passage of a confidence motion requires 34 favourable votes in the 65-member legislature.

In fact, the Government now calls the vote a legislative coup, charging that the Government Parliamentarian, Charrandass Persaud, who rebelled and voted with the Opposition was bribed to do so; no evidence of this has been provided.

The PPP has given notice the Parliamentary Opposition will not participate in “undermining the Constitution” and recommended that Thursday’s sitting not be held.

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