The masses in Guyana and abroad are still shocked beyond belief by the Appellate Court’s split decision to nullify the Chief Justice (ag) ruling on the No-Confidence Motion which resulted from the insertion of the word “absolute” in Article 106 (6) of our Constitution.
While the coalition is rejoicing its new lease of life, the people are appalled by yet another dimension of hypocrisy which is manifested by the selective acceptance of only one part of the Appellate Court’s ruling while conveniently ignoring the others.
The coalition gleefully accepted the Appellate Court’s decision that an “absolute” majority is 34 of the members of the National Assembly but did not accept the fact that the Court upheld Chief Justice (ag) Roxanne George’s decision that a dual citizen is not qualified to serve in the National Assembly. This is in keeping with Article 155 (1) of our Constitution. However, the coalition has announced that it is “business as usual” and that its dual citizens MPs will continue to serve as members of the National Assembly.
This Government has once again exposed its penchant for violating our Constitution, a pastime it has been actively involved in since assuming Office.
On the other hand, the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has made it clear that dual citizens from the Opposition will not return to Parliament. It is now anyone’s guess who is willing to abide by the Court’s ruling and by extension, the Constitution, and who is not!
Furthermore, we have witnessed that this coalition, from the very inception and even before the Chief Justice’s ruling, had declared that is was business as usual and that the President, the Cabinet and the Ministers will remain in Office. The Government had said in a statement that “until the matter is concluded at the highest Court of Appeal, the status quo remains and the business of Government continues as usual”. However, afterwards, the Chief Justice had ruled that the Cabinet of the coalition Government ceased to exist immediately upon the passage of the No-Confidence Motion on the night of December 21, 2018.
Why did the Government not resign as commanded by the Constitution and upheld by the Court’s ruling? The Speaker had ruled that the NCM was valid and the resignation of the Government should have been effected then. If on the final appeal the CCJ ruled that the NCM was not carried, then and only then should the Government have resumed power. So now what happens if the CCJ rules that the NCM was valid? Therefore, it is in the best interest of the country and its people that the Government should have resigned until the final determination of the NCM at the CCJ.
It has become the norm of this Government to interpret the Constitution in such a manner to suit its agenda which is to hold on to power at all cost. We have seen that start from the unilateral appointment of GECOM’s Chairman and it is continuing full steam ahead!
RDC Councillor – Region Six