AFC warns President against ignoring opposition motions on Linden electricity hike

Sweet Sweet Guyana (Natural Black– Reality Check)Linden

AFC warns President against ignoring opposition motions on Linden electricity hike 

Demerara Waves – June 21, 2012

The Alliance For Change (AFC) on Thursday warned the President Donald Ramotar administration that ignoring an opposition motion to block an increase in electricity tariffs in Linden could lead to unrest.

AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan could not immediately say whether his party would support a motion by the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) that aims to stop government from charging Lindeners more for electricity from July 1.   

The APNU has said that it prefers to exhaust the parliamentary route, despite the fact that two weeks ago Ramotar accused the opposition of seeking to run the country by motion. He has said that he would refuse to sign opposition bills into laws unless the Executive is involved in crafting them.

For his part, Ramjattan feared that if the President and his administration fail to heed the motion on electricity tariffs inLinden, the town and the country could plunge into unrest.

“It could create a crisis inLinden, it could create demonstrations inLinden, it could create violence in the street,” he said.

The AFC Chairman accused the governing Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) of seeking to use the hike in electricity charges to foment unrest on the streets to win back the majority East Indian vote. APNU is largely supported by Guyanese of African descent.

“The government wants to take us to the edge because whenever we are taken to the edge, the PPP gets what is called a turn in their favour because of the racial voting patterns.

When you takeGuyanato the edge, the forces that support them largely ethnic forces go back to home because you start having racial violence in the streets and I think this is what they are playing on,” he said.

“I think this is what they are playing on. They don’t want to listen and to compromise

Ramjattan wants the President to take into account what the majority in parliament is saying when they pass a motion and work out a compromise although he enjoys a presidential veto..

In a prepared statement, the AFC urged the Guyanese leader to “honour the wishes of Guyanese” by signing into law bills that have been approved by the majority of the people’s representatives in the 65-seat National Assembly.

“The President needs to wake up and remind himself that he has moved beyond being the leader of the PPP. He is now the leader of a free, democratic country and in this democracy it is the collective will of the people as represented in the National Assembly that will pass the laws,”  the AFC said.

The party reiterated that it would be willing to work with the government, “but it must be under the umbrella of cordiality, mutual respect and a genuine commitment to compromise in the interest of what is best for the people of this country.”

The AFC has seven seats, APNU 27 and the PPPC 32.

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