No-confidence motion will signal political instability – PSC

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THE Private Sector Commission (PSC), yesterday weighed in on the talk of a no-confidence motion being brought against the current Administration by the combined Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC).The PSC contends that such a move will be an unfortunate one, which will signal political instability to Guyana’s foreign investors, financiers, customers and suppliers.
In a missive issued yesterday, the Commission said, “The PSC takes note of the recent public statements by the Opposition with regard to passing a motion of no confidence in the Government of Guyana. We also take note of the President’s remarks challenging the Opposition to do so if they think that it is necessary.
“The PSC believes that it will be very unfortunate if such a motion is passed, as it would signal political instability to our foreign investors, financiers, customers and suppliers. This will further increase the political risk premium added to the cost of capital when overseas funding is sought by private entities and can negatively impact our economy.”
According to the PSC, for progress to be made, given the current dispensation of the National Assembly, where the combined Opposition holds the majority, dialogue, compromise and patriotism must be the underpinning points of focus, particularly on issues of national interest.
“This culture has been very much absent since our last general elections in 2011, as both sides of the house have exposed their limitations in dealing with such a dispensation. The calling for elections prematurely is signalling that only in a “winner take all” environment can progress be made. This does not augur well for a plural society such as Guyana,” the Commission said.
The PSC, the representative of the nation’s largest contributors to the local economy, made it clear that a move to general elections is not the answer to the prevailing political impasse.
“The PSC is not hopeful that general elections will automatically resolve many of the problems facing the country,” the group said.
However, the Commission noted that if general elections were to be called, the process must be conducted efficiently and effectively.
“We would also hope that whatever the results, that they would be accepted by all and that the country can move forward so that every member of our population can be guaranteed a better life,” the PSC said.
The AFC’s Vice Chairman, Moses Nagamootoo, last week indicated that the party was considering the movement of a no-confidence motion against the Government. Nagamootoo, in an article in Wednesday’s edition of the Stabroek News, under the headline ‘AFC considering no-confidence motion against Gov’t’, such a move is seriously being contemplated by his party. However, he acknowledged that a no-confidence motion would have to be supported by the main Opposition. A few days after, last Friday, APNU endorsed this possibility as a serious consideration.
Section 106 (6) of the Constitution states that: “The Cabinet and President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of the majority of all Members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”
However, the following paragraph, Section 106 (7) makes clear that: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall, by resolution, supported by no less than two-thirds of all elected members of the National Assembly, and shall resign after a new President takes the oath of office following the election.”

(By Vanessa Narine )