The main opposition New Democratic party says that while bringing another motion of no confidence in the government is an option, it has not made any determination as yet.
Opposition lawmakers failed on Jan. 31 to have debated in Parliament the motion of no confidence that they brought against the Ralph Gonsalves Unity Labour Party administration.
House Speaker Jomo Thomas allowed the government to amend the motion, turning it into a motion of confidence.
He later said on Facebook that he “erred” when he allowed that to happen and should have allowed debate on the opposition’s motion.
Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday has since written to the speaker about the development.
He told a press conference on Friday that the speaker was yet to respond to the letter, but they have both spoken since.
During the Jan. 31 debate in Parliament, Gonsalves said that he would ask – if the Cabinet agrees, that Attorney General Jaundy Martin ask the court for a definite pronouncement on whether the majority of lawmakers needed to give permission for a motion of no confidence to be debated upon.
But at his press conference on Friday, the opposition leader suggested that he was doubtful that Gonsalves would act in that regard.
“Nothing is going to happen. I predict that, but let’s see if he does. If he does, of course, we will be happy to join in and having the matter dealt with by the court because we have no fear about its resolution.”
Friday said he has spoken to the speaker after having sent him the letter but has not had a written response.
The opposition leader told the media that a motion of no confidence can be brought back to the Parliament but if one accepts the interpretation to the relevant section of the Constitution that the government provided in Parliament, the motion can meet the same fate.
“I know that the Speaker of the House has said he made the wrong decision but I don’t know what it means in terms of what the right decision would be,” Friday said.
“But, certainly, one of the red herrings that was raised in the Parliament by Prime Minister Gonsalves with respect to motions of no confidence and why it is that it cannot be that if you bring a motion you should be entitled to bring it ‘because every Monday morning the opposition would bring a motion of no confidence and it would frustrate the business of government.’
“We’ve been in opposition for 17 years. This is the first motion of no confidence that we are bringing,” Friday said, adding that motions of no confidence are brought sometimes because lawmakers want “to highlight certain issues”.
“They are strategic political decisions. They are also brought because you can bring the government down. That’s the primary objective. But, in many cases, motions of no confidence do not carry, they do not pass, but they raise critical issues.
Friday said it was “a total bogus red herring” for the prime minister to have said that if majority support was not needed for a motion of no confidence to go to a debate, the opposition would bring one every Monday morning — a colloquial expression meaning frequently.
“… practically speaking, it is not going to happen because you look foolish as well bringing a motion of no confidence every Monday morning if it’s not going to have an effect, and the electorate is not going to judge you kindly if you are going to waste their time and make yourself look foolish. So, obviously, there is that restraint on it.”
Regarding what the NDP is going to do, Friday said, “You will have to wait and see, but, certainly, it is an option that it can be brought to the house again.”