Despite publicly acknowledging validity of no-confidence vote Govt now seeking to challenge it

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Despite being toppled by a no-confidence vote one week ago and publicly acknowledging same, the coalition Government plans to challenge the validity of the results.

The coalition APNU/AFC now plans to request of the House Speaker Dr Barton Scotland, a review of the vote.

Recently, a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Attorney General Basil Williams sought to discuss the ramifications of the vote.

Following that meeting a Legal Memorandum was put together, which details a list of arguments about the no-confidence vote.

As such, the Administration has taken a bold approach to ask for a review of the decision by Speaker of the House Dr Scotland.

The Government is seeking the Speaker’s intervention on January 3, the date set aside for the reconvening of Parliament in 2019.

The document which was seen by this media group cites several examples of a no-confidence vote and is centered on why the vote should be reviewed in essence.

According to their arguments, if the vote is contrary to the Constitution, the Court can intervene and quash the Speaker’s decision.

The Government has already hinted that it may take the matter to the Court, if the review by the Speaker of the House is not favourable to them.

But Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had said that he has already written acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, asking that the Judiciary not to engage in any action that could violate what is so explicit in the Guyana Constitution.

Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states that “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members in the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”

Article 106 (7) goes on to state further 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.”

Jagdeo, a former President, said he strongly feels that Government is manoeuvring to delay its exit from office and hang on to power longer, with all the new arguments.

However, following last week’s passage of the Opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion, Government vowed that it would uphold the law and abide by the Constitution.

President David Granger in a statement on Saturday last had said that he was “anxious” to engage the Opposition Leader on any concerns he may have going forward.

And minutes after the no-confidence vote, Prime Minister Mosses Nagamotoo had conceded defeat and said that elections will be due in three months.

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