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APNU+AFC walk out as key debate on Constitutional Reform Bill gets underway

Half of the house lies empty in absence of the APNU+AFC Opposition

The APNU+AFC opposition staged a walk out earlier today just ahead of the Government’s debate on the Constitutional Reform Commission Bill.

Just as the Government was set to read the Constitutional Reform Commission Bill 2022, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton sought to move a motion for the creation of a clean voters’ list and to prevent voter impersonation.

The Opposition had issued multiple demands for a clean voters’ list ahead of Local Government Elections in March 2023, alleging that the list is bloated with names of deceased persons, as well as persons who are overseas.

These calls had been repeatedly addressed by members of government and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Norton’s motion was not allowed by Speaker of the House Manzoor Nadir.

Following this, the Opposition Leader and other APNU+AFC Parliamentarians exited the chamber.

They were therefore absent from the debate as the bill was read early on Monday at the first sitting of the National Assembly after the annual recess.

This Bill proposes that a Constitution Reform Commission be formed to foster countrywide public participation to review the country’s supreme laws.

This has been a platform promise of the Government and comes amid increasing calls for constitutional reform following the events of the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall reminded that this bill is a fundamental process for Guyana’s evolving society, but emphasised that Opposition participation is necessary for a two-third majority in the National Assembly.


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