Opposition proposal to rotate speaker rejected

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Representatives of the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) have rejected an opposition proposal to rotate the post of speaker of the National Assembly.

Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira, and Parliamentary representative to the Ministry of Health, Joseph Hamilton, said the suggestion was ambiguous and unrealistic.

A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC), both of which want their representatives appointed speaker, recently agreed to the compromise to end the impasse that arose in the wake of the November 28 general election which resulted in a minority government being elected.

The two parties combined, control the majority of parliamentary seats – 26 for the APNU and seven for the AFC.

Teixeira said the duration in which the rotating speakers will serve is unclear, and this could stymie the business of the National Assembly.

“APNU and AFC in their haste to try to be very counter-productive are really going to harm any effort of really trying to move the business of this country forward,” Teixeira said.

“You have APNU and AFC trying to divvy up parliament as if it is their property, ignoring the fact that the PPP got the majority of the votes… so it appears as if APNU, AFC want to come to the PPP government… and say take it or leave it.

“It flies in the face of any notion that they portrayed to the electorate prior to the elections and during the campaign that this is about national unity and partnership,” she said.

Hamilton added that it was unclear whether the term of the speaker will be brought to the Parliament through a resolution or vote for ratification.

He said too that indecisiveness in the opposition camp in selecting a speaker has resulted in the business of the nation being put on hold.

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