…says cabinet’s failure to resign could lead to uncertainty, constitutional crisis
Charted Accountant and attorney-at-law Christopher Ram has filed legal proceedings in the High Court to validate the recently passed no confidence motion and have Government comply with constitutional provisions to demit office and call elections no later than March of this year.
As Government continues to hold fast to its 34 majority argument as one of its justifications for not demitting office, attorney and outspoken political commentator Christopher Ram is asking to High Court to do just that – declare that the President and the Cabinet resign in keeping with article 106 (6) of Guyana’s Constitution.
With the Attorney General Basil Williams and Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo as the named respondents; Ram wants the December 21, 2018 no confidence motion declared by the court as validly and lawfully passed, adding that Government should resign with convenient speed.
The case further outlines that Government should remain in office after the President takes the oath of office in 90 days or an extended period as agreed by two-thirds of the National Assembly as 106 (7) requires.
Ram’s legal argument makes it clear that elections must be held no later than March 21 and he is further seeking the court to declare that these proceedings be dealt with urgency.
His grounds of appeal seeking relief under the constitution state that government was defeated with 33 votes against 32; 18 days have passed and government has given no indication to resign and that cabinet’s failure to resign could lead to uncertainty and constitutional crisis.
Ram filed his writ this afternoon through attorney Kamal Ramkarran who heads the Guyana Bar Association – a body which has already supported the validity of no confidence motion.
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, clause (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.”