President will dissolve Parliament when he “deems fit” – AG

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall

[] – Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall says that President Donald Ramotar will dissolve parliament when he deems necessary. 

Nandlall was at the time responding to the concerns raised by the Guyana Bar Association (GBA) on why parliament has not been dissolved as is constitutionally required as the May 11 poll draws closer. 

The Attorney General in a statement said “Parliament will be dissolved by His Excellency when he deems fit and in compliance with these imperatives.” 

The imperatives being referred to include the article in Guyana’s constitution, which stipulates that Parliament must be dissolved within three months prior to election. 

Guyana’s next General and Regional election is set for May 11 as was declared by the President.

“I wish to posit emphatically that the Constitution of Guyana does not at all provide for or contemplate, “dissolving of the National Assembly.” Indeed, no Westminster styled Constitution in the world does so. This must be a new and ground breaking concept, known only to the membership of that astute Association,” said Nandlall in a statement. 

He argued that Guyana’s constitution provides for the dissolution of parliament and not the National Assembly as was stated by the GBA.

He said “if such a basic but fundamental concept can elude my learned colleagues, it is not surprising that they have completely misled themselves in their contention that his Excellency acted in error. The embarrassing aforesaid faux pas aside, the Bar Association further compounds their conundrum by interpreting Article 69(1) to be the Article under which “the National Assembly is dissolved.” Even if I were to substitute the word “Parliament” for “National Assembly” so as to attempt to make sense of their argument, Article 69(1) only deals with how, when and where Parliament is to be summoned by the President.”  

This summoning of Parliament can only take place after the end of a prorogation or a dissolution said Nandlall concluding that “even the Article of the Constitution upon which the Bar Association places reliance for their contention is the wrong provision.”