Rohee to face no confidence motion in parliament

Rohee to face no confidence motion in parliament

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Written by Kwesi Isles   Demerara Waves
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 17:59
The combined opposition parties are to lay a motion of no confidence in Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee in parliament on Wednesday following the deaths of three protesters in clashes with the police at Linden last week.The motion, initiated by the AFC, comes one week after the trio was shot during protests against the government’s move to increase electricity rates in the town to bring them on par with the rest of the country.“We are going to be doing that tomorrow in the National Assembly.Even before the AFC’s initiative I had written the Speaker of the National Assembly asking for a special sitting of the National Assembly to discuss what is called an urgent matter of public importance … and permission has been given by the Speaker for that matter to be discussed,” Opposition Leader David Granger told reporters at a news briefing Tuesday.        According to him, the motion will call for Rohee “to be relieved of his position, to be dismissed.”“Or maybe he can beat the gun and resign,” the opposition leader added, a sentiment wholly supported by the AFC’s Moses Nagamootoo.

“We believe that since he had gone public about his conscience then it is that conscience if it is a good conscience that should declare that he offers his resignation, he shouldn’t be called upon by the parliament to which he is accountable,” he stated at his party’s news briefing on Tuesday.

According to Nagamootoo, the minister was involved in the preparation of the police for the use of lethal force and therefore could not be exempt from any blame.

“He may not have pulled the trigger and no one is saying that but Mr. Rohee certainly placed the bullets, the guns that took the lives of the Linden martyrs and wounded so many others unconscionably.”

Rohee, he added, could not remain in office because it would be “very prejudicial” to any inquiry knowing that he had an “intellectual role” in the results of the Linden unrest.

With the APNU and AFC holding a one-seat majority in the House the passing of the motion is a foregone conclusion barring some unforeseen circumstance. However, its implementation is another matter with the government so far showing no inclination to act on other opposition motions passed in the House this year and the President Donald Ramotar’s belief that calls for the minister’s resignation are misguided.

Rohee stated on national television Sunday night that he had a “clear conscience” on the matter since he had given no order that led to the shooting and in response to calls for his resignation he echoed the words of Ramotar.

The president on Friday at a news briefing had dismissed a question on whether the minister should be removed.

“My Minister of Home Affairs was not on the ground and he was not directing anything, I don’t agree with their calls,” Ramotar said.

The home ministry had issued a statement on Thursday, the day after the shooting, extricating itself from the fallout.

According to the ministry, the events which took place at the McKenzie-Wismar Bridge were “strictly a police operation with no direct or indirect involvement of the Ministry of Home Affairs.”

 

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