Mixed feelings for gov’t supporters on Speaker’s no-confidence position

Supporters of the government lined the northern side of the Public Buildings as they listened to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland’s position on the no-confidence motion.

Supporters of the coalition government yesterday shared mixed views on the refusal of Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland to review his decision that a motion of no-confidence was passed against the APNU+AFC government on December 21st.

Scores of supporters congregated on the northern parapet of the Public Buildings on Brickdam yesterday afternoon and waited on the Speaker’s pronouncement on the motion.

Decked out in the colours of the coalition government, supporters were glued to the billboard-sized screens in the Public Buildings compound which broadcast a live feed of the sitting. The supporters were observed listening attentively to the Speaker’s position on the no-confidence motion, which has over the past two weeks been occupying the public’s interest.

A couple of supporters taking shelter from the blistering sun yesterday afternoon as they waited outside of Parliament for Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland’s position on the motion of no- confidence.

Mild cheers erupted at the mention of government’s challenge on the validity of the vote of no-confidence given defector, Member of Parliament Charrandas Persaud’s dual citizenship. However, seconds later, the cheers ebbed to silence as the Speaker pronounced on the matter.

Scotland said that the issues arising from the passage of the motion must “cause us to look outside of Parliament for answers” and recommended that the matter be taken to court for a final determination.

“If he was to reverse (his decision) in government favour, the opposition would move to the court, if he was to rule in the opposition favour, the government would have gone to the court. So his decision to go to the court was wise…” said one supporter who stood outside of the Public Buildings and waited for the announcement. He added that in his opinion, the court will make a fair ruling.

“…I feel the Speaker should have reversed his decision today and let the government continue with development in the country…” a female supporter, meanwhile, said. “This is a national issue now and all Guyanese are being held at a ransom because of one man. Charrandas should have resigned before, if he knew he was going to vote against the government, what he did was an illegal act…look at where we are now,” she added.

“The Speaker is trying to be fair. I thought if he had gone with Article 106, the situation would have been different but I guess he looked at all corners and then made his pronouncement,” another supporter asserted.

Before the sitting convened, supporters told Stabroek News they were standing outside of the Public Buildings to demonstrate their confidence in the APNU+AFC government.

Former City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green was part of the crowd. “I am out here supporting my government. We are a duly elected government and we are standing out here to demonstrate our full confidence in the government,” she told Stabroek News.

She further said that apart from the city benefiting tremendously under the present government, communities across the three counties have also seen development.

“We have seen quite a lot of improvements, lights, housing, water, which has gone into communities way beyond Regions Four, Five, Six, and Ten. Roads are being fixed in all areas through this government. Therefore we have the confidence and we stand here in support of this government,” she remarked.

A supporter, who identified himself as John, said “we won’t let (Opposition Leader Bharrat) Jagdeo bully us into an election. Under Jagdeo government, we have had too much killings of our youths… if it wasn’t for the oil Jagdeo won’t have rushed for power…”

He emphasised that they were standing strongly with the government of the day. “We will support them and vote for them and we don’t think there should be any election until 2020… what Charrandas did was illegal and we don’t want a no-confidence election, we want general elections in 2020,” he declared.

Despite the mixed views shared, the supporters said they are confident that the coalition government will be returned to office should there be an election later this year.

Under the Constitution, the passage of a no-confidence motion requires the Cabinet including the President to resign but the government continues until general elections are held within 90 days.

The government has said it will move to court.

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