Ramjattan admits constitutional crisis looms

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…as Ram calls on President to immediately honour Constitution

Chartered accountant and Attorney Christopher Ram, on Saturday called on President David Granger to immediately honour his words and start acting on the December 21, 2018, no-confidence resolution asking, “which la la land is Granger living in?”

Ram made the statement when he appeared on a panel discussion on Globespan 24×7 live show in New York. The discussion, titled ‘Is there a constitutional crisis looming’ in Guyana, was streamed live on social media site Facebook with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan being part of the panel. The programme was moderated by Financial Analysis Sase Singh.

Attorney-at-law, Christopher Ram

The passage of the December 21, 2018, No-confidence Motion, saw the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government being toppled. The motion was moved by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and carried in a 33-32 vote, with AFC MP Charrandas Persaud defecting in support of a vote of conscience in favour of the motion.

It has been 64 days since the resolution was carried and no move has been made by the Government to have elections held within the constitutionally mandated 90 days.

Additionally, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has since indicated that it will require at least five months to prepare. This move has been condemned by many with observes accusing GECOM of ignoring its constitutional mandate to buy time for the Government.

Constitutional crisis

During the discussion on Saturday, the question of whether members of the National Assembly can return to the House to have the extension of the 90 days to which he responded that the 11th Parliament has not yet been dissolved, which means that they can.

“What is important is for Mr Granger as President to start acting on the No-confidence Motion which he promised to do. Mr Jagdeo called on Mr (Joseph) Harmon on the very night and said we need to get together and decide on the way forward. It took Mr Granger 18 days and he wanted to know what Mr Jagdeo wants to talk about,” he noted.

General Secretary of the PPP/C Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“Which la la land is Granger living in? Doesn’t he know there is a constitutional crisis…doesn’t the President of the country know that and since Mr Ramjattan he is a Vice President shouldn’t he tell Mr Granger that look you are brewing here one of the worst constitutional crises to confront Guyana in its post-independence history,” Ram added.

Meanwhile, Minister Ramjattan said while prorogation of Parliament is an option for President Granger, he is “certain that the President will not prorogue Parliament and seek the support of the Leader of the Opposition” as well as consult with GECOM in regard to their readiness then he can dissolve the Parliament and set a date for elections.

Staying true to the discussion, both panelists – Ramjattan and Ram – admitted that Guyana will enter into a constitutional crisis come March 19 and the constitutionally mandated Regional and General Elections are not held.

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan

“Well then you will certainly have what is internationally regarded as a constitutional crisis and I must admit that for the purposes of this dialogue that we are going to presume that the 90 days has passed and we still do not have the two-third majority in Parliament, we are going to enter some uncharted waters,” Ramjattan admitted.

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