Opposition to re-table, pass firearms bill

-Ramjattan

AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan yesterday said that the parliamentary opposition would re-table the Firearms (Amendment) Bill, which they voted down in March, with a view to passing it in the National Assembly.

The joint opposition voted against the bill in keeping with the resolve not to allow the passage of any piece of legislation piloted by Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, against whom they had passed a motion of no-confidence in last year.

Ramjattan told a press conference yesterday that bills tabled by Rohee will be rejected but if deemed vital will be re-tabled in the National Assembly by the opposition.

He said that when parliament reconvenes, the Firearms Amendment Bill will be re-tabled by the opposition and will be given the needed votes so that it will be passed.  “We will ensure that bill is passed as a private member’s bill,” Ramjattan said. At the same time, he reiterated his party’s position that Rohee is unfit to lead the Home Affairs Ministry and that it would not relent in its call for his resignation.

Ramjattan stressed that crime has increased nationwide as Rohee has had a negative impact on the Guyana Police Force. “There is no leadership being given by him so that he can inspire policemen to become professionals…  Rohee’s stewardship has not been to any maximal effect as positive, as a matter of fact we feel that it is, in a large measure, what is causing the difficulties we’re having in this sector,” he said.  The AFC and APNU have continuously called for Rohee to resign, citing the rise in crime and a failing police force but the minister has rebuffed these calls while government has stood in support of him.  The  groups have said that they are willing to commit to working with government to find the best measures to deal with the country’s crime problems but only if Rohee is out of office.

Leader of the Opposition and the leader of APNU David Granger, who describes the country’s crime rate as “past crisis point,” told Stabroek News recently that he is not willing to collaborate with Rohee.

The opposition had used their combined one-seat majority to pass a motion of no confidence against Rohee in the National Assembly last year, saying that since assuming the post he has failed to address the country’s crime situation.

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