BREAKING: 33 is majority- CJ rules

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Chief Justice (Ag) Roxane George, SC

Acting Chief Justice (CJ) Roxane George, SC, ruled on Thursday that the no-confidence motion was validly passed in the National Assembly and government has to resign in keeping with constitutional provisions of Article 106 and 106 (7) respectively.

She was at the time addressing the other case filed on behalf of the Government by Attorney General (AG), Basil Williams that sough to put a hold on the enforcement of the motion since he was contending whether said motion was indeed carried by a majority of all elected members and whether or not the 33 to 32 breakdown means it was validly passed.

According to the acting Chief Justice, the Speaker Dr Barton Scotland found that motion was carried by majority of 33-32.

She noted that the validity of motion was not doubted when it was carried on December 21.

Moreover, she noted that when concerns were raised subsequently after and advanced before  Speaker Scotland, he stood by the carried motion and digressed to the court for interpretation.

In her ruling the CJ said that in Guyana’s 65 member National Assembly a majority is 33.

As such the CJ acting posited that the no confidence motion was validly carried.

She outlined that the President and the Ministers cannot therefore remain in Government in accordance with Articles 106 (6) and 106 (7) respectively.

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, 106 (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.”

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