Chief Justice strikes down limitations on Presidency; Jagdeo cleared to run for third term

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By Jomo Paul

Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang
Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang on Thursday struck down a limitation in Guyana’s constitution that would allow any President to serve only two terms in office after a motion was brought before the court by private citizen, Cedric Richardson.

Richardson had approached the High Court earlier in 2015, contending that the move by Guyana ‘s National Assembly to restrict a President to be able to serve only two terms in office is illegal in its current form and such a reform should have been done by way of referendum.

According to one of the lawyers representing the plaintiff, for such a major constitutional reform to be undertaken without the say of the wider population was wrong, hence the reason for the writ seeking for it to be deemed illegal.

The Attorney, Emily Dodson had stated it is outrageous for a 65 member parliament to sit and “fiddle” with the constitution in such a manner without having a referendum being undertaken.

Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo. [iNews' Photo]
Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo. [iNews’ Photo]
In his ruling, the Chief Justice stated “the alteration or replacement of the original 1980 preamble was effected by Act 6 of 2001 which did not receive the approval of Guyanese citizens by way of referendum yet it declares “as citizens of Guyana, we adopt these fundamental laws and make provisions for their amendments to reflect changes in our society.”

He also states that Article 9 of Guyana’s Constitution guarantees the Guyanese people sovereignty “through their representatives and the democratic organs established by or under this constitution.”

“The purported alteration of Article 90 by the Act No. 17 of 2001, in substance and effect, undoubtedly diminishes the democratic rights of the electorate in electing a person of their own choice as President…The court therefore holds that Act No. 17 of 2001, in so far as it seeks to trench on and dilute the pre-existing democratic rights of the electorate to elect as President, a person of their choice,” the Chief Justice said in his ruling, which was done in Chambers.

Jagdeo had stated that he does not wish to run for a third term in office. He also stated that he does not wish to be a parliamentarian but is now listed as the Leader of the Opposition.

It should be noted that the CJ’s ruling can be appealed.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Can u c the nation need him back what this present government doing for guyanses at present tell me who more lie

  2. Bobby, go get an education, only a looser like you would blindly support corruption at that level and dismiss those who dislike any person in high office anywhere in the world… as you are spoon fed everything your told and not bright enough to see what’s going on and acknowledge it that’s your failure …. I would condem that kind of behaviour from USA, Barbados,UK, South Africa, anywhere… You condone it cos you blindly follow your leader…. There is enough info on your beloved leader and his cohorts and they will be taken down….. Remember President Nixon…….no one above the law

  3. veronica ,you sound like a bitter ,frustrated ,envious, disoriented ,confused individual . Nowhere else in the world would you be allowed to slander YOUR ex-Head of State like that. You sound like a non- achiever who is bent on getting some attention by going to the extreme to attack Dr. Jagdeo. I pity you . Only God can help you. I thank God for Dr. Jagdeo who has been a great blessing to our Guyana.

  4. Of course Jagdeo would have applied for another term dispite his habitual lies to the contrary… Firstly, he doesn’t have the intelligence or gravitas to be employed outside guyana…. He wouldn’t be head-hunted by any international organisation who would usually have an ex-president hold a senior post… Champion of the Earth, more like scourge of the nation, who would want a liar, thief, drug runner,highly corrupt individual tainting the good name of any organisation…. The best place for him us right back in the PPP….. Decency is not high on the criteria of that party

  5. Emile, the frustration of the years of unfounded criticism of the PPP/C Government has worn you down so much so that after 60 days in power nothing untoward has surfaced… you come over very imbecilic now…bow out whilst you have time…. you going to add to the continual blundering….

  6. Emile , deal with legal arguments , if you can , not the personalities . That is shallow thinking.

  7. The Chief Justice did what he is supposed to do. He reviewed the circumstances in which the constitution was illegally amended. The law is the law and can only be changed in this case by a referendum which many of the pundits such as the Honorable Ralph Ramkarran had said that the term limit was legally changed and even went to the extent of quoting sections of the which turned out to be inaccurate. I know this change has already started the rumor mill that Former President Jagdeo will be running for a third term. Why not – his track record as president is the best than all previous and current presidents. His intellect and vision paved the way for the current success of Guyana in which all Guyanese benefited regardless of race, religion or culture. He was and will always be the people’s president for indo and Afro Guyanese including the rest of ethnic subgroups.

  8. Serving THREE Terms As President-GUYANA:

    Ref, Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang on Thursday struck down a limitation in Guyana’s Constitution, that would allow any President to serve only two terms in office after a motion was brought before the court by private citizen, Cedric Richardson.

    FIRSTLY, this man’s views is his own, for the simple reason, that the Guyana National Constitution PROHIBITS any president from serving THREE Consecutive terms in office.

    SECONDLY, for any amendment of this magnitude to be made, a Referendum MUST be sought from the Guyanese Commonweal for a YES or NO vote, for any Constitutional Changes in this regard to be made.

    And a vote taken among our elected representatives in Parliament, for such amendments to be legitimized.

    Derryck S. Griffith.

  9. How could all those legal minds have overlooked this? Amazing! Mr. Massiah? Any Luckhoo? Mr. Hughes? Mr. Ramsahoye? Mr. Ram? Mr. Nandlall? Mr. Ramson?
    UG professor of law? ANYONE? This nation awaits your response.

  10. You cant keep a good man down. With the petition Guyana will get a new president in dr. Jagdeo 2016.. Everyone including Gecom, ABC, carter centre know that the ppp was cheated not defeated. God is great

  11. PS. Can anyone understand the logic of having one judge who sits on all cases involving the government, and always rules in favor of the PPP?

    Folks now see why Granger wants to advertise for the two top judiciary jobs overseas?

  12. Ian Chang is the PPP’s trump card. Time to reshuffle the pack. Chang deserves to be sent to fly lice and Jagdeo deserves to Not Pass Go, Not Collect pension, but go straight to Camp Street.

  13. Guyana is safe for now, unless Roger Khan is released or still communicating with Jagdeo; if either of the two mentioned reasons are true, then come next election, he’ll be back in office.

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