Opposition will not participate in undermining the Constitution- PPP to Speaker

0
Gail-Teixeira
PPP’s Chief Whip Gail Teixeira

Chief Whip for the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Gail Teixeira in a missive to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland said that her Party will not be taking part in tomorrow’s sitting of the National Assembly where the Government, which was defeated by a passed no-confidence motion, intends to invalidate the vote that was  carried.

Teixeira, among other things, noted that the no-confidence Motion having been conclusively dealt with, in, and, by the National Assembly on the 21st December, 2018, is not open to review.

In her letter to the Speaker she noted that “We have been advised, with no disrespect to you sir, that the Speaker has no review powers over the said Motion, and, that the Speaker, the Clerk and the National Assembly are functus officio in respect of and in relation to the said Motion. Furthermore, in our humble opinion, Standing Orders 26(e) precludes any effort to rescind a resolution on a question already decided on in the same Session.”

Furthermore, the Chief Whip outlined that “in accordance with Article 106(6) of the Constitution of the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana, the Cabinet, including the President shall resign upon the passing of a No Confidence Motion. Consequently, it is not competent for the Government to move, nor participate in, a sitting of the National Assembly, otherwise than to give effect, if required, to the letter and spirit of Article 106(7) of the Constitution.”

Article 106 (7) of the Constitution of Guyana 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 elections.”

As such, the Parliamentary Opposition is of the view that any sitting of the National Assembly that is not in compliance with this article is a violation of the Constitution.

“Thus, the Parliamentary Opposition will not participate in undermining the Constitution, and, further recommend that this sitting should not be held” Teixeira in her missive said.

See the full letter below:

Dear Mr. Speaker,

Re:Sitting of the National Assembly on the 3rd January, 2019

On December 21, 2018 the National Assembly passed the first no confidence motion. Your Honour ruled that the said No Confidence Motion was carried and passed. Additionally, by letter dated 24th December, 2018, the Clerk of the National Assembly duly informed the Leader of the Opposition by Resolution that the Motion of No Confidence against the Government of Guyana was considered and passed by a vote of thirty-three (33) in favour of the Motion and thirty-two (32) against it.

On the night of December 21, 2018, the Prime Minister Moses Nagamoottoo at a press conference held in the Parliament Buildings conceded that the no confidence motion had passed in accordance with the constitution with 33 votes for and 32 against. He stated that “options available are dictated by the Constitution Article 106 (6) and (7) which states that the government will resign and hold elections within three months.”

The following day, December 22, 2018, President Granger in an official statement released by the Department of Information stated:

The Government of Guyana following the passing of the no confidence motion last night in the National Assembly will abide by the stipulations which have been imposed on it.… we will do everything necessary to facilitate the smooth functioning of General and Regional Elections bearing in mind the need for normal government functions.”…

Moreover the President went on to state that:

“This is a normal constitutional process which can have favourable outcomes for the nation… there is no cause for alarm and there are no grounds for any form of disorder and we will continue to work to provide good government … and to work even more with the opposition”.

Following these official statements, civil society organizations such as the Private Sector Commission, the Guyana Trades Union Congress, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana, Transparency Institute of Guyana, and the Guyana Bar Association came out in support of the constitutional provisions and called on the Government and Opposition to respect and uphold the Guyana Constitution.

The Parliamentary Opposition is aware that the Government has requested a review of the No Confidence Motion moved, debated and passed on the 21st December, 2018.

The Parliamentary Opposition is of the view that the No Confidence Motion having been conclusively dealt with, in, and, by the National Assembly on the 21st December, 2018, is not open to review. We have been advised, with no disrespect to you sir, that the Speaker has no review powers over the said Motion, and, that the Speaker, the Clerk and the National Assembly are functus officio in respect of and in relation to the said Motion. Furthermore, in our humble opinion, Standing Orders 26(e) precludes any effort to rescind a resolution on a question already decided on in the same Session.

As Your Honour is aware, in accordance with Article 106(6) of the Constitution of the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana, the Cabinet, including the President shall resign upon the passing of a No Confidence Motion. Consequently, it is not competent for the Government to move, nor participate in, a sitting of the National Assembly, otherwise than to give effect, if required, to the letter and spirit of Article 106(7) of the Constitution.

In this regard, the Parliamentary Opposition is of the view that the business that is scheduled to be considered by the National Assembly on the 3rd January, 2019, is not in compliance with Article 106(7) of the Constitution. Therefore, any sitting of the National Assembly that is not in compliance with this article is a violation of the Constitution. Thus, the Parliamentary Opposition will not participate in undermining the Constitution, and, further recommend that this sitting should not be held.

Yours sincerely,

signed……………………………………………….

Gail Teixeira, M.P.,

Parliamentary Opposition Chief Whip

 

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.