AFC walks out of National Assembly before budget presentation

The Alliance for Change (AFC) yesterday walked out of the National Assembly prior to the reading of the 2014 national budget, calling it a violation of Guyana’s Constitution because of the lack of consultation by the government.

AFC members arrived and took their seats and sometime later MP Cathy Hughes rose and spoke in honour of the late APNU MP and former deputy speaker Debbie Backer who died on Friday morning.

A few minutes later, AFC members got up and quietly walked out of the House; Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh had not yet begun his budget presentation.

According to a press release it issued, the AFC said it “absented itself… to register its protest…” It said government had ample time within which to hold “meaningful consultations on the budget.” Thus AFC members thought it best not to dignify the budget speech with their presence.AFC said the government’s actions were a breach of democracy, citing article 13 of Guyana’s Constitution which states that the principle objective of the political system is to establish an inclusionary democracy.

It was further stated that government-opposition consultation is not only useful political behaviour but also promotes the type of democracy Guyana needs.

AFC said in its statement that the government tries to reduce the role of the majority opposition from an active participant in national decision making to one of an inert listener while doubting the sobriety of Singh’s presentation of the 2014 national budget.

It said it assumed that Singh would more than likely turn to the blame game and sojourn into the past to support evident failures in an attempt to strengthen negative propaganda against the AFC.

AFC also said the Capital Estimates would be padded to include high profile, pet projects for which multi-billion contracts would be “approved” by the cabinet under the “no objection” status quo, in anticipation of the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission.

AFC added that the budget was being presented by a minister who is accused of disobeying the decisions of the National Assembly and restoring funds that were disregarded by the assembly; for which he has been placed before the Privileges Committee of the National Assembly.

The party said it has a vested interest as a patriotic and national movement to support increased allocations for the social sectors including education, health, housing, water, environment, and security while adding that AFC will demand more monies be allocated for wages, pensions and social assistance.

AFC reiterated its support for subventions to organisations that promote assistance to the vulnerable in the society.

The alliance also said that the 2014 budget is overshadowed by the ruling of Chief Justice which stated that “the National Assembly may approve or not approve the estimates of expenditure…” AFC added that however, the ruling has since been appealed.

The press release said that while AFC respects the ruling of Guyana’s courts, it reserves the “right to abide with the people’s mandate to guard the national purse, and fight the squander mania, waste and corruption by whatever means available to us under the Standing Orders of the National Assembly, in the Committee of Supply.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments  

Wave of looting shutters stores, spreads fear in Venezuela

CARACAS/SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela,  (Reuters) – A wave of looting by hungry mobs across Venezuela has left streets of shuttered shops in provincial towns and pushed some store owners to arm themselves with guns and machetes, stirring fear that the turmoil could spread to the capital Caracas.

NY man gets 41 years for killing Guyanese girl

Taariq Stephens (New York Daily News photo) A Brooklyn man got a 41-year maximum prison sentence yesterday for killing a 16-year-old Guyanese girl who authorities said rejected his advances.

Debutant Ngidi leads South Africa to series victory v India

PRETORIA,  (Reuters) – Debutant Lungi Ngidi took six wickets as South Africa defeated India by 135 runs to claim victory in the second test in Pretoria today and also win the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match contest.

T&T judge grants injunction stopping highway project

(Trinidad Guardian) Environmental activist group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) has obtained an interim injunction barring the Government from continuing work on the first phase of the $400M Churchill Roosevelt Highway Extension to Manzanilla.

Three held over Pomeroon double murder

Three persons, including the widow of one of the two Pomeroon farmers shot dead on Sunday, have been taken into custody and police say one of them led detectives to the location of an arms cache that allegedly belonged to one of the deceased.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×