Motion for the Adjournment of The Assembly to 7th August, 20133517 25 Jul, 2013
MOTION FOR THE ADJOURNMENT OF THE ASSEMBLY TO 7TH AUGUST, 2013
Mr. Nagamootoo: Mr. Speaker, The Alliance For Change (AFC) does not support the motion of the Hon Prime Minister for the adjournment of this House.
Firstly, we are of the view that the fashion in which the supposed adjournment was communicated to us was very cavalier. We had been party to a motion for the adjournment of the House to this day on the last occasion and Parliament ought to be able to meet within the time frame and the date it has set because it governs its own procedure.
Secondly, it appears as if we were being made to submit to the fiat of the Executive. Anything outside of this House that tells the House or anyone that it ought to meet or not to meet is ultra vires of the procedures and the norms of this Honoured House. The way it was communicated to us we believe was tart of that cavalier approach the Executive to stamp its authority and its domination over this National Assembly and we abhor that. We declare our autonomy and our independence from the Executive.
Thirdly, what transpired here on the last occasion as the Hon. Prime Minister essayed to give an interpretation was not an act of terrorism against the development of Guyana. For an assault to be launched against this National Assembly by the Executive is equally abhorrent, unnecessary, unacceptable and should be recalled. It was done to set the mob against this honourable House. We have seen the rabble being mobilised to say they want hydro. It is of course an attempt to hold a dagger at the throat of this Parliament...
Mr. Speaker: You would agree Mr. Nagamootoo that legitimate protest has always been recognised in this country. Other groups and parties have always protested. I recognise the right of any person or groups to protest and not be seen as a dagger being held to the throat. The environment has always been adorned by protestors.
Mr. Nagamootoo: Mr. Speaker, we were told through the media that there would be a consultation with stakeholders. The Hon. Prime Minister said this House would be adjourned in order to facilitate a consultation with the combined Opposition in this House. But we have not been consulted about anything that may or may not have the effect have the effect of a forward movement to the issues that were before us. But because extra parliamentary efforts are being used to persuade us it is in that context, and I agree with the fact that people are entitled to protest peacefully, orderly, and in a democratic society, and it is not intended to be derisive in relation to anyone participation in the protest. I am speaking to the motive behind the mobilisation to pressure us. That is a political act to pressure us to come to a certain conclusion that we may not have come to. That is of course part and parcel of the filibuster that we see playing out here. That the Parliament should meet at a time which the Executive and Government feel it should meet to attend to their business. We do have reservations as well. When we had met on the last occasion, as Prime Minister said, we were involved in some negotiations, but it took us nowhere. I was at the last moment Your Honour with you in your Chambers - and I think this House should know that, this Nation should know that – when I literally pleaded - I would not use the word beg. Country people say you take what you get and wait for what you want. It does not need any scientific knowledge of politics to know that the mean and base on which you can have a compromise is to accept a prioria commitment to a compromise. When I communicated to the Hon. Prime Minister and his team that we were prepared to support the Hydroelectric Power Amendment Act, what I call the flora and fauna act, they made short shrift of me and walked out of the Chambers. So it is not now in the armoury of the Government to plead a case of innocence in relation to wanting a compromise; they rejected a compromise. They showed arrogance and repugnance to the notion of a compromise. Therefore for these reasons we will not support the motion to hold back and to hold up the work of the National Assembly; it shall go on. There are many other issues to be addressed and not the issues only that concern the Government at this particular point in time. We oppose this motion. [Applause]
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