…after Private Sector calls out Govt for not adhering to Constitution, CCJ orders
The husband of recently appointed Public Service Minister, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, has taken to social media to incite Guyanese to “boycott” any business that is registered with the Private Sector Commission (PSC).
This move comes on the heels of the PSC calling out the APNU/AFC Government for its non-adherence to the country’s Constitution as well as disregard for the orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in relation to the No-Confidence Motion passed in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018. The CCJ had ruled that the No-Confidence motion was validly passed and as such the Government is now a caretaker and that elections should be held as stipulated by the Constitution of Guyana.
Article 106 (6) of the Constitution of Guyana 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.”
Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) states: “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.”
Clayon F Halley, on his Facebook account page, had a post “When last ya’ll boycott one ah dem business that is part of the PSC?”
The minister’s husband’s comments have since triggered outrage on social media, with persons expressing disgust at what some described as reckless, targeting and inciting statements.
Last week, the PSC stated that the Government’s caretaker status puts the State at risk and that companies are now extremely concerned about the status of contracts with the State, now that the Government must be in caretaker mode.
“It is the Private Sector’s view that the President, by his behaviour, has put at risk all Private Sector entities and other organisations made subject to contracts and any other action authorised by the Cabinet, by presuming them to be legal,” the PSC said in a strongly-worded statement earlier this week.
The PSC said it has asked its members to seek legal advice in this regard.
Since the Government fell to the no-confidence vote on December 21, 2018, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has always maintained that the Government should be acting in a caretaker capacity only and not be entering into large scale contracts.
Jagdeo’s position was vindicated by the CCJ when it ruled that the Government should act as a caretaker or an “interim” administration until a new president is sworn-in.
“Article 106 envisaged that the tenure in office of the Cabinet, including the President after the Government’s defeat, is on a different footage from that which existed prior to the vote of no-confidence. By convention, the Government is expected to behave, during this interim period, as a caretaker and so restrain the exercise of its legal authority. It is this caretaker or interim role that explains the three-month deadline in the first instance that the Article lays down in principle for the holding of fresh elections,” CCJ President, Justice Adrian Saunders stated.
But President David Granger, after those orders, announced that Cabinet is still meeting. According to the PSC, the Head of State’s posture is “unacceptable”.
“It is totally unacceptable, therefore, to the Commission that the President has refused to honour the Constitution in announcing that the Cabinet shall continue to function.”
Despite its caretaker mode, the Government has since awarded multi-million-dollar contracts.