No Confidence motion valid, contentions can lead to instability – Bar Association

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The Guyana Bar Association (GBA) has rubbished claims that the No-Confidence motion passed against the APNU+AFC Government, is not valid and that it requires a 34 majority instead of 33.

A statement from the GBA on Wednesday evening rejected the contention that the motion “was not properly passed” or that the vote is “invalid,” noting that such an argument can lead to instability.

The Bar Council responded directly to prominent Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes, who first brought the argument to the fore.

It is Hughes’ legal opinion that the Opposition needed more than one vote from the Government side for the motion to succeed.

Hughes argued that majority means 34 out of 65 seats in the National Assembly, however, he said the principle only applies to a vote of confidence.

He advised that the Government can approach the Speaker to have the process reviewed.

But the Bar Association rejected his argument and urged for the motion to be accepted and that urgent preparations begin for elections by the Elections Commission.

“The giving of effect to any contentions that there is some possibility other than elections being held within 90 days of the passage of the motion could lead to instability and our democracy must be protected by the unambiguous adherence to the rule of law and to the provisions of Article 106(6) of the Constitution,” the Bar Council concluded in its statement.

Government Parliamentarian, Charrandass Persaud shocked the country when he voted with the PPP in support of the motion on December 21, 2018.

The PPP has 32 seats in the House; the Government, with Persaud, has 33.

When the vote was called, the Government was stunned when Persaud defected and voted in favour of the motion, forcing the Government to call elections in three months.

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