President Donald Ramotar has dismissed as “totally baseless, spurious and constitutionally incorrect” an Opposition party’s plan to table a motion of no-confidence in the Guyana government.
The Alliance for Change (AFC), the smallest of the three political parties in parliament, Thursday sent Ramotar a letter notifying him of an intention to move the motion of no confidence in his government because of what it deemed financial irregularities concerning state funds.
Ramotar said Friday evening that the AFC’s intended action will provide the opportunity for his government to demand explanations from the AFC on why that party opposed key developmental projects.
“The AFC will have to explain to the Guyanese people their denial of having cheap energy by opposing the hydro-power station at Amaila and therefore opposing the industrialization of our country, the creation of jobs for people, particularly our young. You will have a chance to explain why you have voted against giving the Guyanese people better health care due to your opposition to the Specialty Hospital,” Ramotar said.
AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan stated that his party’s decision to table the motion was owed to what it sees as misappropriation of $4.5 billion (one Guy dollar = 0.0048 US dollar) of state funds by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh.
The Ministry of Finance had withdrawn the money from the consolidated fund for projects that the Opposition previously used its majority in parliament to reject in the last budget.
“I write to you out of deep concern over the unauthorized and unconstitutional withdrawals made from our nation’s Consolidated Fund by the Minister of Finance,” Ramjattan stated in his letter to Ramotar.
“We cannot condone, participate in or lend any support to such a serious breach of the Constitution and laws of Guyana, and we find it necessary in the light of the clear and present danger to the Constitution and the rule of law to explore all options necessary for safeguarding the public purse against further lawless spending.”
Not giving a date for his planned action, Ramjattan said the motion of no-confidence will be laid in parliament “at the opportune time.”
Guyana’s combined parliamentary Opposition of AFC and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) command 33 seats in the 65-seat parliament, and Ramjattan’s smaller party will depend on APNU’s support in its planned no-confidence motion.
When AFC, over a week ago, mooted that idea of a no-confidence vote, Ramotar dared that party to follow through with its threat.