Early general election likely in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – The prospect of an early general election in Guyana has increased significantly after the majority opposition grouping, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), signalled its intention to back a motion of no confidence in the Donald Ramotar administration.

The last election was held here on November 28, 2011.

The minority Alliance for Change (AFC) has said it will table the motion of confidence in the minority People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government. The two opposition parties control 33 of the 65-seat National Assembly.

On Tuesday, the APNU shadow cabinet met to discuss the motion and according to the group’s co-leader, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, the decision was unanimous and that no dissenting views were expressed during meeting.

He said the party would support the motion when it comes before the parliament, hopefully in October.

He said the APNU, which includes the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNCR) believes that the decision to support the motion was the right step given the feeling and mood of the population.

The Constitution states that on the House’s approval of a no-confidence motion, the President and Cabinet have to resign and make way for general and regional elections within three months.  If the motion is passed before the House goes into recess on August 10, the elections would have to be called by November. However, if it is approved at the first sitting in October, the polls would have to be called the latest by January, 2015.

President Ramotar has repeatedly said that he is not afraid of going to back to the polls earlier than the constitutional deadline of 2016 to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate.

But as he addressed the Annual General Meeting of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Ramotar said that his administration was not afraid of facing the electorate.

“We do not take threats. If the opposition wants to pass a no-confidence bill, let them pass it and we will be ready to deal with the consequences of that,” he said, adding “when I say I am going to do it, I am going to do it. I wouldn’t even say it.”

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