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President wants talks with Opposition

aa3President Donald Ramotar today suspended all sittings of the National Assembly for what could be a maximum of six months. The president in a nearly seven-minute address to the Nation to justify his decision said it was his only recourse to ensure that the life of the 10th parliament was preserved.

President Ramotar said during the suspension his administration will use the time to continue engaging the parliamentary opposition in constructive ways in addressing the issues confronting Guyana. However, should the talks fall through he will take the necessary steps to have early general elections held.

The President also said his government will continue to attend to the provision of basic goods and services, while abiding strictly to the constitutional provisions during this period. The head of state said he will not allow any interruption of the stability and progress of the nation.

Even as the president sought to lay blame for his decision at the feet of the Opposition, his government has ignored calls by opposition and civil society for the holding of local government elections, which includes the operationalization of the local government commission bill.

The President himself has also refused to sign several pieces of legislation passed by the National Assembly. These include amendments to the former presidents benefit act and the local government amendment bill.

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