Rohee deflects questions on no-confidence vote possibility

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee yesterday deflected questions on whether the party has had any comprehensive discussions about the possibility of a no-confidence motion proposed by the opposition coalition which if passed would bring down the government.

Rohee said the party’s Executive Committee meets on a weekly basis but refused to say when the party would meet this week to address the no-confidence motion. “I am not prepared to go into those details. The furthest I can say is we meet weekly… So when the executive meets next, obviously in keeping with its tradition, its culture, it will obviously take into account all the political developments that have taken place including events that have taken place outside of Guyana.”

The party’s weekly press briefing was confined to a statement on how “amused [the PPP was] by statements made by the political opposition that it is considering to move a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly against the ruling PPP/C government headed by President Donald Ramotar.” Stabroek News had then asked for clarification on the level of discussions the party has engaged in on possible steps to disengage such a motion or prepare for the possibility of a government shutdown.

This newspaper also asked whether the party has considered any other presidential candidates (apart from the current Head of State) should the opposition’s no-confidence motion proceed to the National Assembly and be passed. Referencing an article published yesterday titled: “Confidence vote talk seen as high-stakes standoff,” Rohee replied: “I think that question seems to be connected with an article I read in today’s Stabroek News where speculations are rife on these matters I am not prepared at this point in time to get in the realm of speculative politics when it comes to housekeeping matters.”

Rohee said the party would cross that bridge when the time was right. In keeping with its line of questioning, this publication asked Rohee if he would contemplate a possible presidential candidacy, but he said he would prefer not to discuss such an idea at this time. Rohee had in the past expressed a desire to be his party’s presidential candidate, stating in 2010, “goat ain’t bite me.”

Meanwhile, reading from a prepared statement, Rohee said, “The PPP is convinced that the only reason for such enhanced level of absurdity by the opposition is to divert public attention from their anti-national positions taken on the anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism bill.” He continued that both the APNU and the AFC have come under attack from their supporters citing the opposition’s refusal to support “programmes and projects that would create jobs and enhance the quality of life of the Guyanese people.” He called the opposition parties bankrupt politically stating that they do not formulate clear and well thought out positons.

Taking aim at AFC Vice Chairman Moses Nagamootoo, who first mentioned the no-confidence motion, Rohee said, “Regarding the AFC and Mr Nagamootoo, it is a known fact that he has always been driven by political vanity and unbridled craving for political office which eventually led to his separation from the PPP after he realised that his political manoeuvrings had failed to impress and find favour with the PPP leadership.”

Rohee said David Granger, Leader of the APNU, was also on “shaky political ground following his weak leadership which has created political schisms in his party especially with respect to his confrontational approach with his Linden constituents. He said that Granger was making outlandish statements in an attempt “to salvage his sinking political image.”

The party’s lack of preparedness to answer media questions in a relevant manner comes on the heels of a press conference held by President Donald Ramotar on Saturday following media reports on the opposition’s mention of a no-confidence motion.

This was the second time the President addressed the matter as he had previously stated on Wednesday at the annual general meeting of the Private Sector Commission that the opposition should “bring it on,” since “we do not take threats… Let them pass it and we will be ready to deal with the consequences of that.”

Rohee stated that his positon was one that was cohesive with the President’s.

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