Govt makes submission in no-confidence case

first_imgAG v Speaker, Opposition leaderAttorney General Basil Williams has filed in the High Court submissions on behalf of the state, making out the Government’s case in hopes that the court would reverse the no-confidence vote passed in the National Assembly.In the case of AG vs Speaker of the National Assembly and Opposition Leader, Williams’s submission argues that “there was a miscalculation of the majority of all elected members as required under Article 106 (6) of the Constitution for the Government to be defeated on a vote of no-confidence.”He is also seeking the court’s decision on “whether 33 votes in favour of the motion of no-confidence amounted to a majority of all elected members inAttorney General Basil Williamsaccordance with Article 106 (6) of the Constitution.”The AG also wants the court to determine “whether Resolution 101 is Constitutional and effective and passed in accordance with Article 106 (6) of the Constitution, (and) whether section 5 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2000 (No 17/2000) is constitutional and not inconsistent with article 70 of the Constitution.”The submission claims that acquiring 33 instead of 34 or more votes breached article 106 (6) of the Constitution and was unlawful. It also claims that the Speaker’s certification of the vote by issuing Resolution 101 is not conclusive.When it comes to Article 70 of the Constitution, Williams argues that a Government is guaranteed a five-year term and is protected by requiring 2/3 of all elected members to vote in order to reduce that timeframe.Finally, the submission wants the court to decide “whether the Speaker’s ruling on the vote can be quashed by the Courts.”On Tuesday, Chief Justice Roxane George gave all sides in the no- confidence cases until January 18 to exchange submissions, January 21 for rebuttal submissions; and in the case of Christopher Ram vs the Attorney General andSpeaker of the National Assembly Keith ScottSpeaker of the National Assembly, submissions will be heard on January 23.Oral submissions for Government supporter Compton Reid vs the Attorney General, former MP Charrandas Persaud and the Speaker of the National Assembly will be heard on January 24.And finally, in the case of the Attorney General vs the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Opposition Leader, oral submissions will be done on January 25.On December 21, 2018, the no-confidence motion brought by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo brought down the Government by a 33-to-32 vote majority when then Alliance For Change (AFC) Member of Parliament Charrandas Persaud defected and supported the motion.Persons have for some time argued that the Cabinet should have resigned by now, pursuant to the laws of Guyana. Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, clause 7 goes on to state that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”Even though less than 90 days remain in which elections must be held, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has made no significant moves towards preparing for holding elections.last_img