Govt challenges Chief Justice’s ruling on no confidence resolution

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The government through its Attorney General, Basil Williams on Tuesday has challenged the ruling of acting Chief Justice, Roxane George with respect to the no confidence resolution which was handed down on January 31, 2019 at the High Court.

Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams

In the first appeal filed against Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, the AG contended that Justice George “misdirected herself in law when she ruled that the motion of no-confidence upon a division vote of 33:32 Members of the National Assembly was validly passed as the requisite majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly pursuant to article 106 (6) of the Constitution”.

Further, the appeal stated that “The Honourable Chief Justice Roxanne George erred and misdirected herself in law when she ruled that the Speaker’s ruling that the motion of no confidence debated in the National Assembly on the 21st day of December, 2018 was carried by a vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly was constitutional and in accordance with Article 106 (6) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana”.

Acting Chief Justice Roxane George

Williams further challenge the decision of the Christopher Ram’s case which called for the resignation of the cabinet along with the president.

Justice George ruled that the no confidence motion was validly passed even though it was determined that former Alliance for Change (AFC) Member of Parliament (MP), Charrandas Persaud who voted in favour of the motion, was not qualified to be elected to serve in the National Assembly.

In addition, the learned CJ quashed a case filed by Williams who sought to put a hold on the enforcement of the motion since he was contending whether the said motion was indeed carried by a majority of all elected members and whether or not the 33 to 32 breakdown means it was validly passed.

She however, ruled that the President and the Ministers of Government cannot therefore remain in Government in accordance with Articles 106 (6) and 106 (7) respectively.

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.”

Now that the challenges have been filed with the Appeal Court, a date will be set for arguments.

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