AG says crisis looms if Opposition does not extend life of Gov’t
Attorney General Basil Williams says there will be “a crisis situation” in Guyana if the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) does not support an extension to the life of the Government when the National Assembly reconvenes.
Williams, who is also an executive member of the People’s National Congress Refrom (PNCR), was addressing the media at the party’s weekly press conference on Friday.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has already publicly declared that the PPP will not support an extension but Williams believes that this is merely a ‘threat.’
“He [Jagdeo] is free to say whatever he likes at Church Street [Jagdeo’s office] or on the streets of Guyana so the test is when Parliament resumes and the matter is called, he must go there and say he is not complying with the Constitution.
“Once he [Jagdeo] does that, obviously he will create a situation, in fact, a crisis situation,” the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs said.
The one-seat majority Government needs two-thirds of the votes in the 63-member Assembly to get an extension.
The Opposition has argued that the country is already in a constitutional crisis since the Government missed the three-month deadline holding general and regional elections.
The Parliament comes out of a two-month recess on October 10.
In his address to the nation on September 25, President David Granger said the Government must return to the National Assembly and request an extension, in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana, since the three-month timeline for the holding of an election after the successful passage of a No-Confidence motion has passed.
The President has since proclaimed elections for March 02, 2020.
If the Opposition does not support an extension to that date, the Attorney General said, “It will be left to the President who has the remit to dissolve parliament.”
Meanwhile, Williams said the PNC – the largest in the Coalition Government–is proud of its record since being elected in May 2015.
The party will be celebrating its 62nd Anniversary on Saturday with an event in Linden, Region 10 – one of its strongholds.
Reading from a prepared speech, Williams said “the PNCR is proud of its accomplishments in education while in Government,” infrastructure and job creation.
He added that the PNCR today is conscious of the economic, social and political challenges, which still confront the nation and therefore renews its commitment to continue to work towards improving access to education and towards ensuring equality of opportunity for all.
“The Minister of Finance has already announced that all Public Servants can look forward to a salary increase this year 2019. Our goal is to build a well-paid, well-trained public service that will support our projected economic growth and development,” he said.
The party also affirmed its commitment to the APNU+AFC coalition which is currently engaged in negotiations to pave the way for contesting the next elections together.