Opposition’s ploy to stall the passage of Budget linked to High Court case

– AG Nandlall

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall SC says the APNU/AFC Opposition’s plot to stall the passage of the National Budget is connected to a case before the High Court, where they are challenging the amendments to the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.

In that case, there is an application seeking a conservatory order, which is akin to an injunction, restraining the Speaker of the National Assembly from proceeding to consider the budgetary estimates of the constitutional agencies. That matter is fixed for tomorrow before a judge of the High Court for hearing.

AG Nandlall explained that the Opposition is seeking to have the budgetary process stayed in relation to constitutional agencies, until the hearing and determination of their challenge to the legislation.

“Their behaviour which ensued, were all designed to stall the process to allow the injunction to be heard for they believe that they can stop the budgetary estimates of the constitutional agencies from being approved,” the AG said.

The Attorney General said that events which occurred today in the National Assembly were part of an overall orchestrated plan to stymie the Government’s work. This, he said, started on Wednesday when Opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley accused Minister of Public Affairs within the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Kwame McCoy, of assault.  The Minister has since denied those allegations. Prime Minister Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips reviewed the video footage which captured what transpired, and corroborated Minister McCoy’s account.

Minister Nandlall said he is of the view that Mr. McCoy was specifically targeted for what he deemed a ‘fabricated story.’

“Why? Because he is Afro-Guyanese and because they want to deny great Afro-Guyanese who support the PPP because that was part of their racial strategy to monopolise or create the impression that they have a monopoly of Afro-Guyanese support in this country.”

Meanwhile, the Minister flogged the Opposition for poor representation of their constituents in the parliamentary business.

“The people of Guyana must deserve something better than this as their representatives. These people are the worst representatives that we have seen emerged in independent Caribbean politics,” he said.

AG Nandlall said the Opposition absolved themselves of their constitutional duties by failing to participate in the inspection of the 2021 Budget estimates.

“An Opposition is mandated to scrutinise Government’s expenditure or projected expenditure of public funds to ensure there are no excesses, to ensure there are no abuses and to ensure there is value for dollar,” the Attorney General said. The National Assembly passed the $383.1 billion Appropriation Bill in the absence of the Parliamentary Opposition.