GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — The European Union is withholding $37 million in aid slated for Guyana because the government of the South American country is operating without a Parliament.

EU officials said they will withhold the money meant to help boost the country's sugar industry and finance infrastructure works until their concerns are addressed. The EU noted in a statement late Friday that one of the functions of Guyana's National Assembly is to oversee the budget.

President Donald Ramotar temporarily suspended the opposition-controlled legislature in November to avoid a no-confidence vote.

He has called for elections in May but has not yet formally dissolved Parliament. The National Assembly could remain legally suspended for up to six months.