EU says looking forward to free and fair elections in Guyana

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Jernej Videtic – Head of EU Delegation to Guyana

The Delegation of the European Union in Guyana has said that it continues to closely follow the developments after the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly on 21 December, 2018 and looks forward to free and fair elections being held, as appropriate, and in line with all constitutional provisions.

In a statement issued earlier today (Monday), the EU called on “all concerned bodies and stakeholders to uphold the Constitution, respecting democratic procedures and the rule of law”.

The EU said that procedures should be managed efficiently, with openness and transparency.

“In this regard, the Delegation of the European Union welcomes the expeditious handling of the related court cases so far and hopes that the further legal process can be expedited, for the benefit of Guyana, its people and its development, in view of pending Foreign Direct Investments [FDI’s]”, the statement added.

The Chief Justice ruled that the N-confidence Motion was lawfully passed on December 21, 2018, in the National Assembly by a 33-32 vote, and that the vote of Charrandas Persaud was lawful, notwithstanding that as a dual citizen, he was unlawfully occupying his seat in the National Assembly.

Consequent upon those findings, the Chief Justice ruled that the Cabinet automatically resigned on the passing of the No-confidence Motion. The Chief Justice granted neither a stay of execution nor a conservatory order which would have preserved the status quo ante. Yet the Government announced that the status quo remained and Government business will be conducted as usual.

The CJ outlined that the President and the Ministers cannot remain in Government beyond three months in accordance with Articles 106 (6) and 106 (7) respectively.

Article 106 (6) 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 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 agrees by not less than two thirds of all members”.

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