– calls for support from the public
With a No-Confidence Motion against it looming, Government on Tuesday reaffirmed that it was confident it would survive the vote; while at the same time hitting out at the Opposition and boasting of its achievements.
According to a statement released by the Government’s Department of Public Information (DPI), the coalition reaffirmed its commitment to fulfil its “good life for all” promise at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
While the Government acknowledged there were challenges and a “few” missteps, it insisted that there were also “impressive” successes since 2015. It bragged about its foreign affairs triumphs, the holding of Local Government Elections, regular Parliament sittings and Cabinet meetings and the “marked reduction” in serious crimes.
“Our coalition has promoted social security and lifted the image of our Indigenous peoples as Guyanese citizens, enjoying equal rights and opportunities. Our Government has upheld multicultural cooperation and facilitated social cohesion,” the coalition Government, through the DPI, also said.
“The coalition Government has restored confidence in, and integrity to, public life. We combatted rampant, pervasive corruption among persons holding public office, reconstituted the Integrity Commission and appointed a Public Procurement Commission to handle state procurement,” the Government added.
The Government went on to boast of installing “thousands” of street lights, improvements to education, “reliable public health care”, infrastructural advancements, and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project started under the former Government. Then it spoke of its efforts in the rice sector.
“We have worked on securing better and more markets for rice along with launching more seed paddy varieties for farmers who also benefit from several new, high capacity pumps and access to fertilisers,” the Government said.
“Guyana can now boast of having a truly national public information network that links the coastland and the hinterland. Our people all across Guyana have free access to the Internet and are connected and communicating with persons all over the world,” the Government said, a reference to its Information Communication Technology (ICT) efforts.
“Against this background, the coalition Government is certain that the No-Confidence Motion brought by the Opposition Leader will be resoundingly and comprehensively defeated in the National Assembly on Friday, December 21,” the Government added.
On the other hand, Opposition Leader Jagdeo had stated that the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) had proffered several reasons for their move to file a no-confidence motion against the then PPP/C Government. Among them was the restoration of monies cut from the Budget for the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF), hinterland airports, the University of Guyana student loan programme, vouchers for public school students, and the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project.
Another reason was the non-transfer of monies to the Consolidated Fund, which was held, legally, by semi-autonomous agencies. A third claim was a procedural breach in the $4 billion transferred to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and allegation of corruption.
The Opposition Leader charged that if these reasons could have justified the filing of that No-Confidence Motion, then there is greater justification, now, for the filing of the No-Confidence Motion.
He listed several things to support this contention, including the loss of 30,000 jobs; the decimation of the sugar sector; massive increases in the cost of living; and the imposition of hardships on the Guyanese people, via Government policies, such as $60 billion in increased taxes per annum.
He also pointed to “unbelievable” levels of proven corruption, exposed via, not only the parliamentary Opposition, but also by the Auditor General’s Office and the Public Procurement Commission (PPC). The hiding of the US$18 million signing bonus from ExxonMobil in a separate account, when the monies should have been transferred into the Consolidated Fund, was another example cited.
“Since this Government took office we have had taxes increased by 60 billion dollars per year, although they came in on a promise of lower taxes. They came in on a promise of creating more jobs. We lost 30,000 jobs. Acts of corruption have been unbelievable,” Jagdeo had stated.
In addition, the Opposition Leader had stated that it was made clear at the recently held Local Government Elections (LGE), where the PPP/C, from all appearances, came out victorious with a 45,000 votes more than the Government. As such, Jagdeo noted that it is time for the coalition to be called out for what he says are its continued failures.
Jagdeo further added that the country is “drifting” because of a lack of vision of the APNU/AFC coalition Government. According to him, the No-Confidence Motion is intended to protect Guyanese and Guyana from the excessive borrowing, taxing and wasteful spending of the current Administration.