No-confidence case: Ram’s attorney makes oral submissions

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….Chief Justice (ag) to rule on January 31, 2019

Attorney-at-Law and President of the Guyana Bar Association Kamal Ramkarran

Attorney Kamal Ramkarran has made oral submissions before acting Chief Justice (CJ) Roxane George, regarding legal arguments for his client Christopher Ram who was joined to the legal proceedings regarding the no-confidence vote after he approached the High Court to validate the no-confidence resolution and have Government comply with Constitutional provisions to demit office and call elections no later than March of this year.

On December 21, the no-confidence motion brought by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party against the Government in the National Assembly succeeded when former AFC Parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud broke rank and made a conscience vote in favour of the motion.

Arguing that Government’s power should only be limited to essential operations such as giving money to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as Article 106 (6) and 106 (7) of Guyana’s constitution are clear and unambiguous, Ramkarran stressed that business as usual must come to an end once cabinet resigns.

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.”

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 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.”

Moreover, Ramkarran, who is the current Head of the Guyana Bar Association, said too that no moves have been made to call elections in three months as the constitution requires.

He said the National Assembly has not agreed to extend the deadline, observing that December 21 to January 23 is certainly not within convenient speed.

In the Attorney General’s (AG’s) response, filed by Attorney Maxwell Edwards on Tuesday, he argued, among other things, that Government’s resignation depends on Parliament being dissolved before General and Regional Elections.

In this instance, the AG cited Article 106 (7) of the Constitution of Guyana to support his arguments.

He then went on to reject calls for Government to be in a caretaker mode, contending that the vote was not a valid one.

Justice George on Wednesday committed to ruling on the legal challenges regarding the no-confidence vote on January 31, 2019.

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