Refusal to have elections in 3 months will send bad signal to investors – Ramson Jr.

...the Courts should not be used as a tool for delay


Dear Editor,

The refusal to call an election within the three month period as prescribed by the constitution of Guyana will send bad signals to foreign and domestic investors and the executive and the judiciary should not allow the courts to be used as a tool for a delay to call an election.

Guyana desperately needs foreign investment especially in new oil and gas sector and investors both local and foreign need stability as a precondition for investment otherwise Guyana’s risk profile increases and that in turn increases the baseline entry percentage as a return on investment.

Any person or party which seeks judicial interpretation must have access to the institution of doing so which is the court system. If the government is determined to go to the court on the issue of the no-confidence motion, the court, cognizant of the provisions in the constitution which prescribes a timeframe of three months for an election to be held, can and ought to expedite the determination all the way to the CCJ, if necessary, well in advance of that timeframe.

This case, once filed, will test the responsibility, independence and wisdom of the office holders of the judiciary. The actions of Venezuela on the 22nd December 2018, evinces more than ever the necessity for long-term wisdom of office holders to perform functions in the best interest of Guyana and not political expediency.

The issue to be determined is quite simple i.e. what is the meaning majority (not absolute majority) within the context of a no-confidence motion? All the other floated issues of bribery and citizenship are red herrings intended to distract and muddy the water.
In fact, Art 165(2) deals definitively with the issue of citizenship which says that even if Mr Charandass Persaud was not entitled to be an MP at the time he cast his vote as an MP in Parliament it does not invalidate any of the proceedings of the Parliament.
Furthermore, going down that line of argument necessarily opens a can of worms like who else sits in the National Assembly with dual citizenship along with the other issue of the negligence of the political party to not verify if the person had dual citizenship.

Since the issue is simple and the arguments will be the same all the way to the court of final adjudication the matter could be expedited all the way to the CCJ and that should be the agreed position when the Leader of the Opposition and the President meet shortly.

Politicians must understand that they live and die by-elections and ought to welcome elections. Running from an election means you are afraid that what Mr Persaud did actually represent the will of the people.
No government is elected for five years. A government is elected for a maximum of five years which means a President can call an election at any time prior to that five year period.
The judiciary should not help any political party and must do what is best for the country. A delay to the calling of the election will not be what is best for Guyana.
Charles S. Ramson
Partner and Attorney-at-Law
Ramson & Conway & Associates
Partner and Oil & Gas Consultant

Abercal Guyana Energy Advisory

Former Member of Parliament

Republic of Guyana

Former Legal/Technical Director
Office of the President
Republic of Guyana
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