Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has made it clear that the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentarians will not be returning to the National Assembly to extend the life of the Government, which he says is currently “illegal”.
“The moment the CCJ ruled that the no-confidence motion was validly passed, that immediately meant that the government, as of march 21, 2019, was illegal,” Jagdeo said at a press conference today. “The only way they can change the illegal status is by fresh elections. So, from now until those elections are held the government will remain illegal,” Jagdeo added.
The Government can also change its illegal status by voting in the national assembly, but that would need the parliamentary opposition’s support to be successful.
“What is nonnegotiable is us going back to parliament to extend the life of this government, that’s nonnegotiable,” Jagdeo posited.
Further, the Opposition Leader maintained that elections should be held within three months.
“We are not going to tolerate any continued violation of the Constitution. We will insist on elections being held within three months…and when I meet with President David Granger, that is a non-negotiable issue,” he stated.
The CCJ, last week, ruled that the government was defeated by the no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018.
The Constitution of Guyana stipulates that the government must resign and call elections within three months after being defeated by a vote of no-confidence. That deadline expired by March 21, 2019.
From December 2018 to now, the government has spent a lot of time in the courts, trying to prove that it was not defeated by the motion. The matter went all the way to the CCJ for a final and binding ruling, but from all indication, the government is not prepared to accept that it was defeated.
Minister of State Dawn Hastings-Williams is on record saying that the CCJ cannot tell Guyana what to do. “GECOM is the only authoritative body that will inform the Government whether they’re ready or not for elections. CCJ cannot rule; Guyana has its own institution,” she stated.