November 28, 2014

Sun and Sand Hotel project to commence soon – Govt

An artist's impression of the Sun and Sand Hotel soon to be constructed in Guyana

An artist’s impression of the Sun and Sand Hotel soon to be constructed in Guyana

President Donald Ramotar on Monday confirmed that the construction of the US$54M Sun and Sand Hotel is expected to commence soon, dismissing misinformation being peddled by Opposition members that the project lacks transparency and is falling through.

Back in July, Ramotar had turned the sod along with officials from the Indian owned Sun and Sand Group of Companies for the commencement of work on the hotel.

The Hotel, when completed, will include a casino, along with a commercial block and club house.

Rooms

It will contain 163 rooms and provide jobs for several hundred Guyanese. The construction of the five-star hotel is expected to last for approximately 18 months.

In the interim, that work has been delayed somewhat due to teething issues with getting the project off the work.

But Alliance For Change (AFC) Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan is quoted in sections of the media as expressing the view that there might be more to the actual deal that the government negotiated with the Indian investors.

He alleged that his party was of the view that the project appeared less than transparent and that concession and other facilities may have been granted.

Information

Ramjattan is also on record as giving his party’s commitment to ascertain pivotal information about the deal that could remove any suspicion that it is being used as a front to enter in the lucrative operations in the mineral sectors in Guyana.

“We have few details of this deal. It was announced suddenly and we would like to know whether any mining concessions were tied to the hotel construction,” he is quoted as saying.

However, President Ramotar insisted that as far as he was aware, the project was still very much on the cards and there was no plan by the investors to withdraw or cancel their investment in the multimillion dollar venture.

When contacted, Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali told Guyana Times International the same. He also denied allegations that the project had fallen through and promised to share more information on its current status with this newspaper.

Construction

Director of BK International Brian Tiwarie told this newspaper that the company has purchased all the equipment needed for construction to begin.

He disclosed that the officials of the company were working feverishly on completing some very important operational and administrative work.

Tiwarie said that they were still awaiting the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and some other important paper work from the Lands and Survey Commission.

That, he reasoned, was responsible in part for the delay in the actual start up and operationalisation of the venture.

In addition, getting the plot of land at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara surveyed, on which the hotel is to be built, has also posed a problem.

Efforts to speak with Bhushan Chandna, Chief Executive Officer of the company were unsuccessful as he was in a meeting when this newspaper placed a call to his mobile.

The Sun and Sand Group has also showed interests in venturing in gold mining in Guyana and other sectors of the economy.

The company has mining operations in South Africa and other countries.

Queens immigrants react to Obama’s immigration announcement

Members of DRUM display placards in support of Obama's immigration announcement

Members of DRUM display placards in support of Obama’s immigration announcement

The day after President Obama’s announcement on taking Executive action for immigration, over two-dozen immigrants from DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center and other organizations gathered in Jackson Heights to express how pleased and relieved they were.

After more than a year and a half since grassroots groups around the country started the #Not1More campaign to move the President to halt deportations, end programs that criminalize immigrants, and expand the relief granted to young people in 2012, DRUM says the sacrifice and courage of its members and immigrants across the country who pressured the Administration has led to results.

 A beneficiary of the program, 13 year old Nushin Tarannum said that “when my father was detained, I decided that we couldn’t suffer in silence anymore and began to organize for administrative relief. As a result of this announcement, my father will be able to work safely and without fear of detention or deportation.”

Of those excluded from the program, Amana Begum, spoke about her husband who “has been in this country for over 20 years now, yet still won’t benefit from this program. Since the announcement also includes continued enforcement, he will live in even more fear of being detained or deported.”

DRUM Director, Fahd Ahmed adds, “the national consensus turned against hateful politics and for inclusion. Nation-wide cities are limiting local involvement in federal deportation efforts, including New York City. With ICE’s abusive actions being rejected across the country, it was only a matter of time before the President had to act. Now, with more of our community safe, we have to fight for everyone left out. Every single person in our communities is fully deserving of relief and equality.”

City Council member, Daniel Dromm, praised “the courage and efforts of immigrant communities that made this happen. Now we have to work with community organizations to ensure that people are not scammed or taken advantage of.”

DRUM members also used has also started giving out flyers to community members with basic information about the programs, and information for upcoming community information sessions.

Guyanese give thanks in America

By Vishnu Bisram

PG 4 THANKSGuyanese and persons from other nationalities now living in the United States of America – their adopted homeland, are celebrating  the traditional Thanksgiving weekend with family and close friends. We would all agree that indeed Guyanese have good reasons to give thanks to America which has been welcoming them for over fifty years.  Since their arrival in the US, many Guyanese have been successful at almost every aspect of life – acquiring their own homes, vehicles, attaining higher education etc. They are also known to be very generous as many of them use this occasion to share their earnings with the poorer sections of the American society. This is their way of giving thanks for their presence and success achieved in the US.

Thanksgiving Day is a historical celebration in the U.S going back to the early 1600s since the early settlement of North America by Europeans.  It is a national holiday. The festival grew out of the harvest celebrations of England and is celebrated in the Fall, the end of harvest in the Southern U.S.  The early English immigrants introduced it in the US giving thanks for the harvest and the blessings of the past year.

Guyanese view Thanksgiving as an occasion for family reunions and big dinners.  Relatives normally take turn hosting dinner over a four-day period (from Thursday to Sunday).  The Thanksgiving dinner normally includes the traditional baked or roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, sweet yams, corn, cranberry jelly, and salad (including sugar beets) with wine and other hard liquor.  Caribbean people normally supplement their meals with their own traditional ethnic dishes including dhal puri, pachounie, phulourie, bara, fried rice, chowmein, and fried channa as snacks and their favorite drinks — mauby and sorrel for the children and lots of good Caribbean rum for the adults.  For desert, there is black cake, pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie. And it is not unusual for them to substitute the turkey with curried duck, chicken, mutton, and goat, etc.

All religious denominations observe Thanksgiving, including Muslims and Hindus. And giving is part of their culture. They donate food to shelters and or host dinners for the unfortunate. Christian churches also host dinners for the poor and homeless.

Although a small community, Guyanese nationals give a lot during thanksgiving.  Many use the Thanksgiving occasion to give generously to the charities of their choice, including the Red Cross and the American Cancer Institute in addition to their local mandir, masjid and church.  Others send money to friends and relatives back home.  To give thanks, some bake turkeys and cakes which are donated to homeless shelters.  Their assistance helps to ease social problems such as hunger, poverty and homelessness in the City.

Thanksgiving Day is usually celebrated with the largest parade in the nation on Fifth Avenue.  The parade normally features all kinds of magnificent floats and balloons of cartoon characters and a host of Hollywood celebrities and sports stars. It normally attracts a large number of Guyanese. But most people tend to be glued to the television sets which carry live broadcasts of the parade.

By observing the festival, Guyanese are participating in a mainstream American celebration in the same manner that they celebrate their own traditional festivals such as Phagwah, Deepavalli, Eid, Qurbani, Christmas, etc.  It must be known to the American society that Guyanese are generous in sharing their wealth and giving back to the society to which they owe their success.  They are very thankful, not only because they live in America, but for the many blessings they have received during their lifetime. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL.

1,000 Homes Turnkey Project on schedule for mid-2015 completion

- over Gy$12B invested in last four years to boost housing development along East Bank corridor

A view of the Turnkey homes under construction

A view of the Turnkey homes under construction

The 1,000 homes turnkey housing project in Perseverance on the East Bank of Demerara is slated to be fully completed by mid-2015, Housing Minister, Irfaan Ali said as he also disclosed that some 12,000 house lots have been allocated for 2014.

Speaking with the media, Ali said his ministry has been working tirelessly to provide “affordable housing for all” which is also the ministry’s theme.

He noted that for 2014, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has already distributed some 12,000 house lots and this includes all the new areas for the year.

HOUSING SOLUTIONS

Ali explained that the ministry is always looking for new ways to diversify and enhance housing solutions in Guyana.

“We hope that we can further enhance our housing solutions by having our Perseverance Scheme, our 1,000 homes project completed fully by mid next year with approximately 100 homes already under construction and being allocated,” the Housing Minister said.

BUTTERCUP COTTAGES

In June of 2013, the ministry launched the Perseverance 1,000 turnkey homes and on May 19 the first batch of 50 houses started to be constructed. The cost for a completed house is Gy$4.9M (the house costs Gy$4.4M and the land costs Gy$500,000). Known as the Buttercup Cottages, they are two-bedroom flat houses equipped with toilet and bath, kitchen and living area. The ministry will be providing water and electricity for the homes and has also modernised the houses with sealed rooms and sash-windows.

Meanwhile, the Young Professionals Home project in Eccles has almost 80% occupancy where Gy$600M was invested by the private sector for this specific project. The young professionals home project started in 2012 and was completed in August 2013. All the houses for the project have been allocated and homeowners are doing their own finishing touches to their houses.

The Housing Minister explained that the young professionals project is one that is in very high demand since it enables our working population to have a ‘walk in ready home’. He noted also that because of the high demand “we have to find new solutions in terms of land availability and development of a new urban stretch” to embark on other projects.

NEW URBAN AREA

He noted that the Government has invested Gy$12B in the last four years to have housing development along the East Bank and this includes the roads, water supply and electricity.

Ali explained too that “along the East Bank we are in our final stages of land acquisition and development and this will require us to look at a new urban area that would bring a holistic solution.”

No thanks! Opposition refuses President’s invitation for talks

- General Elections could be called soon

President  Donald Ramotar

President
Donald Ramotar

The combined Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC), have rejected President Donald Ramotar’s invitation, issued via a letter on Tuesday, for talks following the prorogation of Parliament.

General Secretary of APNU, Mr. Joseph Harmon, told the media on Wednesday that the main Opposition considered the President’s invitation during a meeting of its Executive Council and their position is that there will be no talks.

“We have said this before and our position remains the same, APNU will not engage the President in talks unless the prorogation of Parliament is lifted.”

The AFC Leader, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, echoed similar sentiments.

In an invited comment, Mr. Ramjattan said that his party has not received a letter from the President.

“I have not received a letter and I do not think I want to receive a letter. If a letter does come, I will have to pull a ‘Janet Jagan’ (the late former President of Guyana) and throw it over my back,” he said, referring to Mrs. Jagan’s rejection of a court order preventing her coronation as President, which she threw over her shoulder at a ceremonial event at State House after the 1997 elections.

Opposition Leader David Granger

Opposition Leader
David Granger

The combined Opposition’s rejection of President Ramotar’s invitation comes after the Head of State has, as recently as last Friday, expressed optimism that the combined Opposition will reconsider their ‘first position’, in which they rejected the possibility of talks.

FINAL POSITION

Meanwhile, Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr. Roger Luncheon, told the media that the rejection of the President’s invitation to APNU and AFC for talks will be considered the combined Opposition’s final position on the matter.

Dr. Luncheon, speaking on Wednesday at his weekly post Cabinet press conference at the Office of the President, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, added that no agenda was set for the proposed talks, given the Opposition’s stance, but an invitation was made in earnest and once this is responded to the “when, what, where and how” will be addressed.

“We stand ready to engage the Opposition,” he stressed, adding that “goat ain’t bite” the current Administration and it can “pull the plug” on the 10th Parliament, via dissolution, if efforts to engage the two Opposition parties fail.

President Ramotar has repeatedly stressed that he has no intention of re-proroguing Parliament.

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

In proroguing Parliament last Monday, he was also emphatic that the move to prorogation was intended to pave the way for greater dialogue among political parties, while keeping the 10th Parliament alive.

The effect of ending the first session of the 10th Parliament via prorogation is the termination of the business of the National Assembly.

As a result the AFC sponsored no-confidence motion was not considered. Also, APNU had, prior to Monday, signalled its intent to support the push through of the motion. Had it not been for the proclamation to prorogue Parliament, if the no-confidence motion was passed, Guyana would have been headed to early general elections within three months.

Dr. Luncheon highlighted that in the face of political gridlock, which has characterised the 10th Parliament, the President had three options: dissolve the Parliament and move straight to early general elections; allow the AFC no-confidence motion, a debate that the Government would have won, even if it lost the vote with its minority in the National Assembly; or prorogue Parliament and allow for dialogue in the interest of the nation.

“The President chose prorogation,” he said.

Responding to a question, the HPS acknowledged that there may be a sentiment in some sections that a resort to prorogation could translate to the scoring of “political points” for the Government, to say that the Government made every effort to engage the combined Opposition.

However, he made it clear that this does not reflect the “fundamental aspirations” of the Guyanese people. “There is an interest in having this problem (political gridlock) solved,” Dr. Luncheon said.

The prorogation is constitutionally provided for in Section 70 (1) in the laws of Guyana and can last up to a maximum of six months.

Private sector slams authorities over flooding

- calls for national inquiry on governance problems

A view of Camp and Quamina streets in Georgetown on Thursday

A view of Camp and Quamina streets in Georgetown on Thursday

The Private Sector Commission on Thursday slammed the authorities over rain-fuelled flooding that has gripped the city and it declared that its confidence has been further diminished in the effectiveness of big ticket items such as the Doppler radar and the Hope canal.

The PSC statement follows:

Rainfall has once again resulted in major floods in the City of Georgetown and the Coastal Plains of Guyana and the business entities and poor households will once again suffer hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

While the quantum of rainfall may have been unusual for the time period it fell and natural causes will obviously be blamed as in the past. The PSC is concerned that once again it seems that the leaders of the nation have been caught off guard. The alert mechanisms, forecasters and administrators both in central and local government have disappointed us in their proactivity and reaction to this development.

This situation is unfolding even after the millions being spent on the Doppler weather stations, hundreds of millions spent on drainage and irrigation annually, billions spent on the significantly delayed Hope Canal Project and the billion dollars currently being spent on the cleanup campaign. Our confidence in the effectiveness of these programs has been further diminished.

The PSC is calling on the Government, both central and local to provide urgently, the necessary assistance to ensure:

1.     That the areas affected are drained as soon as is practical. (The Private Sector will explore opportunities to assist).

2.     Support provided to aid clean up and recovery of households affected.

3.     Adequate systems are put in place to facilitate advisories being sent out to the public with regard to the expectations of the next few days.

4.     Assessment of damages for possible financial assistance to aid recovery of those affected and uninsured must be considered.

5.     Medical advisories are sent out so that additional disasters are not ignited.

The PSC also calls on members of the public to allow the spirit of goodwill and friendship to prevail at this time so that communities can work together to overcome this problem.

The PSC is of the view that the flooding is as a result of both a natural phenomenon and a governance problem. For the governance problem, a national inquiry must be done this time to ensure that the true causes for the various lapses in the systems can be identified so that our alert and reaction processes can be improved in the future.

US-based company expresses interest in Guyana’s oil and gas sector

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud and acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Newell Dennison meeting with the team from HESS Corporation

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud and acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Newell Dennison meeting with the team from HESS Corporation

A high-level team from HESS Corporation on Wednesday met with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud to discuss collaboration in the oil and gas sector.

The team included Tim Chisholm (Hess Exploration Vice President), Michael Dalkin (Hess, Environmental Manager), and Mark Johnson (Senior Commercial Manager Exploration International).

The Minister was accompanied by acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Newell Dennison.

Hess Corporation is a leading global independent energy company engaged in exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. The company has a global portfolio in onshore, offshore and exploration and expertise in deep water drilling ventures.

Discussions were centred on anticipated investment and collaboration with ESSO in their deep water offshore concessions.

Minister Persaud welcomed Hess Corporation’s presence and indicated support for any joint venture effort which could materialise.

Courts parent company commissions US$6M distribution centre in Guyana

- testimony to confidence in the economy

The 60,000 square feet distribution centre at Eccles Industrial Site

The 60,000 square feet distribution centre at Eccles Industrial Site

Unicomer Guyana Inc, home of the Courts and Lucky Dollar brands, has commissioned a new multimillion dollar distribution centre on Wednesday at Eccles Industrial Site, East Bank Demerara.

The 60,000 square feet facility has the capacity to offload 18 trucks or containers simultaneously and can house about 20 containers in the compound.

The distribution centre sits on four acres of land and replaces the warehouse that was located in Montrose, East Coast Demerara.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Unicomer Guyana Inc Managing Director Clyde de Haas said the expansion was necessary to facilitate growth in business as the company had outgrown the previous facility.

He noted that a lot of burden was taken away from management with the establishment of the facility and now they can channel their attention towards providing better services to the customers.

“We are able to focus on our primary function as a retailer and that is making sure that customers are getting the five-star service and simultaneously with that we have now is proper logistics function. This is not a warehouse anymore, it’s a distribution centre and we have a proper logistics function whereby the planning of the incoming stocks, the planning of the out bond stocks is all being done in a manner that is simple flow and things are not going against each other,” de Haas explained.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by several officials of the Unicomer Group including the Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Guillermo Siman, who stated that the US$6 million investment in Guyana is reflective of the company’s confidence in the country’s economy and expressed gratitude to the Government for embracing the drive of the company.

“We look forward to our continued participation in the development of this country by fostering investments, generating employment and facilitating international trading and commerce by being a good corporate citizen in Guyana,” the Vice President stated.

The mega distribution centre currently provides employment for 50 persons and the number is expected to increase in the near future. These persons underwent training sessions in order to effectively operate the new stock picking machines and mechanised facilities in the warehouse.

President Donald Ramotar said Guyana has been making significant investments in developing its human capital.

“We have been investing heavily over the recent years. We want to provide for Government and for the investors as a whole, a workforce that is highly educated and second to none in the world,” he stated.

The President added that grand partnerships such as these between Government and private sector are crucial in order to transform Guyana into a modern and developed society.

He pointed out that his administration is focused on achieving this as he referred to the billions of dollars that is being plugged into the social sector every year.

The President spoke about the strides made in the education sector, noting that Guyana is on the verge of attaining Universal Secondary Education.

Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President Lance Hinds recognised the contributions of the company to the local private sector and encouraged it to continue fulfilling its corporate responsibilities.

Acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali stated that Unicomer Guyana Inc has played a key role in the development of the private sector.

The Unicomer Group has been serving Guyanese for the past 20 years.

AFC, APNU advance coalition talks

Opposition Leader David Granger

Opposition Leader David Granger

A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has approached the Alliance For Change (AFC) to form a broad coalition, but a response from the small party is still pending.

The proposal was renewed during a meeting held last week between the two Opposition parties.

This was confirmed by Opposition Leader David Granger on Friday during his weekly press conference at his Hadfield Street Office.

“The matter was raised… and I would say the ball is now in the AFC’s court,” Granger told reporters, noting that the AFC has not given any clear indication whether it will buy into the proposal.

But earlier this week, AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan denied that such discussions were held. According to him, there are no plans in the pipeline to have the two Opposition parties merged.

When contacted by Guyana Times International, Ramjattan yelled “It is nothing of the sort!” before disconnecting the call. A second attempt to clarify his statement, the hostile political leader said, “Tell (newspaper name) to haul its *ss.”

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

He was alluding to an article carried in a local newspaper under the headline, “APNU/AFC in advanced coalition talks — Roopnarine makes way for Nagamootoo as MP Candidate.”

Greater chance

Critics say they have a greater chance of winning the elections as a coalition, but failure to do so can result in the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) returning with a majority in the National Assembly.

The People’s National Congress (PNC) which forms part of APNU has not won an election in 22 years. After ruling the country for 28 years, the PNC suffered a major defeat in the 1992 General Elections.

But even with the PNCR joining with the Guyana Action Party (GAP), the National Front Alliance (NFA), the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and the Justice for All Party (JFA) in 2011 to form APNU, it was still unable to defeat the PPP/C.

The coalition has 26 seats in the National Assembly.

On the flip side, the AFC has never won an election. Since it was formed in 2005, the AFC has only managed to win 10.3 per cent of the votes, gaining a mere seven of the 65 seats in the National Assembly.

Individually, the Opposition parties are powerless in the National Assembly, but as a combined Opposition, it has proven to be a force to reckon with.

With the AFC pushing to have the No-Confidence Motion debated and pass in the National Assembly, it is critical for the Opposition to form an alliance.

Many challenges

Since the 2011 General Elections, there have been many changes; changes that can negatively impact all of the political parties during the next General Elections; hence, their decisions during this period are critical.

Regions Five (Mahaica-Betbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) have experienced a sharp decline in their populations by 16,969 persons.

According to Guyana Population and Housing Census 2012 Preliminary Report, the regions’ population fell from 176,123 persons in 2002 to 159,154 in 2012.

Regions Five and Six form part of the coastland regions, which also include Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (West Demerara-Essequibo Islands), Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). Collectively, the six regions have a population of 666,261 persons when the last census was conducted on September 15, 2012 while the overall population was recorded at 747,884. Regions Five and Six are PPP/C strongholds.

Additionally, the advent of a majority Opposition in the National Assembly has resulted in major protestations from all sections of society when key issues were being dealt with.

The joint Opposition have been greatly criticised for the cuts effected to the 2012, 2013 and 2014 budgets, which have negatively affected key developmental projects, including the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, the Specialty Hospital and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Expansion Project.

But this is just a tip of the iceberg for APNU. The leadership of the partnership is battling to keep the party’s spirit alive in one of its stronghold, Linden, Region 10.

Since mid-year, the mining town has been plagued with a major division since the leadership moved to appoint Sandra Adams as the party’s Regional Coordinator.

This appointment was opposed by Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon and the region’s APNU representative in the National Assembly Vanessa Kissoon.

President threatens early polls in face of No-Confidence Vote

- Parliament to reconvene on Monday

President Donald Ramotar and Opposition Leader David Granger during one of their meetings at the Office of the President

President Donald Ramotar and Opposition Leader David Granger during one of their meetings at the Office of the President

Just days after declaring that it would be “foolish” of him to call Local Government Elections, President Donald Ramotar Tuesday night declared his intention to hold those polls “in the second quarter of next year.”

However, he said this is contingent on whether the opposition rams through its No-Confidence Motion against his administration. In that eventuality, he would use his powers to prorogue or dissolve Parliament, paving the way for fresh General Elections. While both options would precipitate General Elections, in proroguing Parliament the President would be avoiding his party be the first to fall on an Opposition No-Confidence Motion.

Ramotar made the comments during an address to the nation aired on State broadcaster, National Communications Network (NCN) Tuesday evening. Government had up to then been resisting holding Local Government Elections, citing a range of reasons why it was not feasible. The main Opposition-A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), however, which is currently engaged in countrywide protest actions, had demanded that the Head of State set a date for the poll.

In fact APNU had made the local government election issue the centrepiece of its struggle; giving lip service to the Alliance For Change- sponsored No-Confidence Vote. The President would appear to be calling APNU’s bluff and would be forcing the latter to take a stand. Observers say APNU would be in a “most uncomfortable” place when Parliament reconvenes on Monday as the President effectively gives it two options: one of going ahead with the AFC-sponsored No-Confidence Motion and face fresh General Elections or supporting its own agenda, which would see its hard fought campaign for local government elections being realised. Opposition Leader, David Granger in reacting to the President’s statement said that the opposition will not be threatened or intimidated.

“A Partnership for National Unity –APNU is extremely disappointed by the views expressed by President Donald Ramotar in his address to the nation… It is clear that President Ramotar is trying to intimidate the opposition by threatening General and Regional Elections and putting Local Government Elections far into the future. APNU will not be threatened or intimidated,” Granger said.

He said after deliberately delaying the post–recess sitting of the National Assembly by several weeks, “APNU feels strongly that the President’s new found urgency to bring to the floor of the National Assembly “urgent matters…in the interest of the people of Guyana” to be disingenuous. He said APNU views the President’s ‘threat’ to prorogue or dissolve the Parliament as cowardly. “The Parliament is intended to be a place for debate. President Ramotar is choosing to dissolve Parliament instead of facing up to a debate on the PPP/C’s abysmal record in office,” Granger charged.

Importance of Parliament

Meanwhile, stressing the importance for the National Assembly to recommence following the end of recess on October 10, President Ramotar said both sides of the House should use the opportunity to address critical matters that were on the Order Paper prior to recess. These matters include: the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, the Telecommunications Legislation, the Education Bill and Financial Papers. “These matters will allow us, all our people, to build a better society and a more resilient economy.”

However, the President warned against opposing forces that may seek to disrupt the current standing order. “I also wish to declare that were this not to be so, and I am provided with reasons to believe that the Parliamentary Opposition intends to disrupt Government’s business by forcing a debate on their No-Confidence Motion, I resolve to respond immediately by exercising my Constitutional options to either Prorogue or Dissolve Parliament paving the way for holding of General Elections.”

Nevertheless, he said if the No-Confidence Motion against his Administration is passed, it will lead to General Elections.