The government is admitting that the constitution of Guyana makes no distinction between when an absolute majority and when a simple majority is used to vote in the National Assembly.
Instead, they are using legal precedents from other jurisdictions. Making this admission was Attorney General Basil Williams, who called a press conference to defend the government’s attempts to overturn the No confidence motion.
According to the AG, a No confidence motion is different from any other motions in that an ‘absolute majority’ of 34 out of 65 members is needed rather than 33.
There are immediate holes in this explanation, however, since it indicates that government would then have needed 34 votes to defeat the motion.
Asked about this discrepancy, Williams had this to say.
“If they said it (motion) was (defeated by 33), it could have been challenged that it should have been 34. Look, I wasn’t going to tell the PPP how many people they needed to steal from the government.”
It was pointed out to Williams that all 32 members of the Opposition side had already voted for the motion and that going by its own arguments, government would have needed at least one Opposition member to defect in order to defeat the motion.
Williams’ shied away from this question. “You’re saying I should have gone and done that (poach a PPP MP’s vote)? Why are you encouraging me to go and do mischief? I’m saying to you that to get 34 you have to steal from the other side, any party. It wasn’t my decision to (steal from PPP)… I’m not addressing this again. I’ve explained this already”, the Attorney General stated.
When asked about the government ‘switching its mouth’ after promising to respect the results of the No confidence vote, Williams admitted that President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said what they had to say at that time to “keep the peace.”