Former Clerk of the National Assembly, Frank Narine says if President David Granger is serious about having early elections – in keeping with the Guyana Constitution – he must dissolve Parliament.
“Everyone seems to be interpreting the Constitution in their own way,” Narine asserted during an interview with this publication.
“The Constitution says what must happen. Article 106 says that when a No-Confidence Motion is passed, the President and Cabinet have to resign. And it goes on to say elections must be held in three months after the passing of the motion, unless the National Assembly extends the time.”
“The President has to proclaim a date for elections. And it is the President who will have to dissolve Parliament before elections. The President has to formally issue a proclamation dissolving Parliament, so the National Assembly can’t meet. Members cease to be members
“… I think if it’s dissolved, it means he’s serious: he’s going to have elections. But the President hasn’t done anything.”
Narine noted that when the No-Confidence Motion was passed, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) should have been getting its systems ready for the possibility of holding elections.
“It means they were sleeping. If the President has a member of staff and he says I want this report by the end of the month, and that staff member fails to give it, what must the President do? It means the President has the wrong staff member. Did they get directions not to (get ready to) hold elections?”
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, 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.”