Gov’t, opposition at impasse on make-up of House committees

Lawrence and George Norton of APNU and Khemraj Ramjattan of the AFC.

Last week, the government accused APNU and AFC of using their combined vote in the National Assembly for partisan political interests, while saying that in doing so they “undermine constitutionality” and “disregard parliamentary norms and traditions.”

Attorney General Anil Nandlall told that the actions of the combined opposition, in using their majority to select the Speaker, establish the composition of the Committee of Selection and to recently delay approval of government expenditure, have violated the spirit of the Constitution. “The Constitution contemplates that it would not be a disputed issue,” said Nandlall, on the attempt by the Government to present and pass two financial papers last week. “The framers of the Constitution intended to achieve accountability by inserting this requirement and the government in its effort to fulfil this requirement by laying in the National Assembly monies already spent and in attempting to secure approval of the Parliament is carrying out a perfunctory function. The main purpose of the constitutional requirements is for the government to present these accounts,” Nandlall added.

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