BREAKING NEWS: CCJ orders Cabinet must resign and call elections in 3 months

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…three months take effect from June 18, 2019

The Caribbean Court of Justice moments ago handed down consequential orders stipulating that the Cabinet must resign and call elections within three months of its June 18, 2019 ruling that the no-confidence motion was validly passed.

This, the CCJ said, is in accordance to Article 106 (6) and 106 (7) of the Constitution 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, Article 106 (7) states: “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.”

CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders emphasised that GECOM and the President are obligated to “exercise their responsibilities with integrity”.

He explained that since the passage of the no-confidence motion against the government on December 21, 2018, the government should have complied with the provisions of the Constitution, i.e. to resign and call elections.

He said general elections should have already been held by March 21, 2019 unless there was an extension by the National Assembly.

This, he noted, was not done. He explained that, after the passage, matters were on pause due to the legal action in the courts.

But, he further explained that it was no longer on pause from June 18, 2019 – when the CCJ declared that the no-confidence motion was indeed validly passed.

The CCJ therefore ruled that Article 106 (6) and 106 (7) is “clear” in what it means and that the government and GECOM must oblige.

Emphasising that the Cabinet including the President should already be resigned, the CCJ further explained that the government is now in caretaker mode leading up to elections.

“The tenure of government in office is on a different footing,” he said. “By convention government is expected to behave as a caretaker.”