No-confidence debate should be debated next year

first_imgDear Editor,Reference is made to your editorial on the No-confidence Motion (Guyana Times, December 18). Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has rebuffed the Opposition Leader’s request for deferral of the debate on the No-Confidence Motion till the New Year.The Opposition Leader wisely sought a delay of the debate so that peoples’ minds could be on the holiday season rather than on the performance of the Government. Having a no-confidence debate on the eve of Christmas or end of the year is inappropriate. It is a Grinch that will steal the people’s Christmas. It is unheard of to have a no-confidence motion debate so late in the year. It is not ideal to have this very stressful debate at the holiday period. It just adds to the stress of the period. Everyone will be on the edge focusing on the outcome rather than completing their plan for the season. In fact, the debate will ruin peoples’ holiday celebrations. So, the debate upsets the holiday plan, and it should be deferred.I think the Government (PM) should reconsider the request of the Opposition Leader and put off the debate till mid-January. People are busy preparing for the holidays. Members of Parliament themselves and their families must also be preparing for end of year festivities and for travel abroad. In January, everyone will be back to their normal routine and in a frame of mind to listen to the debate.I do not think the Opposition has the numbers (33) to make the motion successful. So, the Government need not worry that it would lose the vote if it is delayed till mid-January.However, it would be unwise for the Opposition Leader to withdraw the motion as suggested by the Prime Minister. A debate is needed on the performance of the Government to hold it accountable and to suggest reorientation on policymaking. Besides, a no-confidence motion is routine when a Government loses a local election by a huge margin as happened on November 12, 2018, in Guyana.The debate on the no-confidence motion should have occurred right after it was introduced in the house rather than being delayed till now. That is the norm in the Westminster system. No-confidence motion takes precedence over other matters. In England last week, Members of Parliament from the ruling conservative party called for a no-confidence vote against their Prime Minister. It was held immediately as no-confidence motions supersedes all other matters. The British PM won the no-confidence vote last week. If the Government was /is so confident of defeating the motion, then it should have held the debate before the budget.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo chided Jagdeo for wanting to exclude him (Nagamootoo) from the Budget Debate because of language in the Constitution barring the Prime Minister from sitting in the House while acting as President. The fraudulent Burnham Constitution is very specific in articles 96, 103, and 178 in who can act as President and what happens thereafter.The latter states that the acting President must temporarily vacate his or her seat in the Nation Assembly with someone replacing him or her until such time that the acting president ceases the duties.It does not make sense to exclude the Prime Minister acting as President from sitting in the House; he has so much to offer. I am of the view that the Constitution should be amended to allow the Acting President to sit in the Assembly especially that he or she can contribute to a healthy debate.Excluding the acting President from sitting in the House does not lessen the voting numbers of the Government in the House. The person acting as President can appoint a temporary Member of Parliament to fill his or her slot. The no-confidence debate should be deferred.Yours faithfully,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

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