Moments after Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland upheld the no-confidence resolution against the coalition Government on Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo received a letter inviting him for talks on the way forward with President David Granger next week.
In the letter dated January 3, 2019, Minister of State Joseph Harmon confirmed that the Head of State will be meeting with the Opposition Leader on Wednesday, January 9.
According to the correspondence, which was seen by Guyana Times, the meeting
is scheduled for 11:00h at the Ministry of the Presidency.
Furthermore, the letter also requested the Opposition Leader to indicate the matters which he wished to place on the agenda for the upcoming meeting.
The engagement between the two political leaders was prompted following the passage of the December 21, 2018, no-confidence resolution.
The motion, tabled by Jagdeo, was successfully passed when Alliance For Change Parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud, made a conscience vote in favour of the motion.
Following its passage, the Opposition Leader on December 22, 2018 wrote the President requesting a meeting to determine the way forward.
Initially, the Head of State had said he was anxious to meet with the Opposition
Leader to discuss the way forward on the matter, something which Jagdeo said he was ready to do at any time. However, Granger left Guyana on Christmas Day for Cuba where he is receiving treatment after being diagnosed with cancer in November. However, his Government changed its tuned, saying they are willing to challenge the passage of the resolution.
This, Jagdeo had pointed out, shows the Government is wasting a valuable opportunity for dialogue and exhibition of mature leadership, despite both President Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo previously promising to abide by the constitutional provisions a no-confidence vote mandates.
Earlier this week, he laid collective blame for the confusion over the no-confidence resolution at the feet of the President, noting that notwithstanding his illness, he is still the Head of State and bears ultimate responsibility.
Meanwhile, this meeting is coming on the heels of the governing coalition challenging the passage of the resolution of no-confidence, contending that motion needed a 34-majority vote to be approved. This contention has been Government’s lifeline ever since Attorney Nigel Hughes, husband of Government Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes, raised the argument.