Gov’t buying time with court action against No-Confidence Vote – PPP
The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) says the Government’s quest to quash the No-Confidence Motion passed against them is “frivolous and is simply intended to be used…as a lifeline to remain unlawfully and unconstitutionally in Office.”
The Government Friday moved to the High Court seeking orders to set aside the No Confidence vote of December 21, 2018, on the grounds that the vote of Charrandass Persaud was invalid because he holds a Canadian passport.
But the PPP, in response Friday evening, noted that this legal argument will not affect Persaud’s vote on the No-Confidence Motion, pointing to Article 165 (2) of the Constitution, which states: “The Assembly may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership (including any vacancy not filled when the Assembly first meets after the commencement of this Constitution or after any dissolution of Parliament) and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in the proceedings of the Assembly shall not invalidate those proceedings.”
The PPP reminded that it was APNU+AFC who placed Charrandas Persaud in the National Assembly in the first place and relied on his vote for the past three years.
“Now this self-serving bunch is prepared to put the entire nation into chaos and do untold damage to our national interest by invalidating everything done and every law passed in the Parliament, since 2015.
“Fortunately, the Constitution makes provisions for such eventualities and deficiencies of these types cannot invalidate proceedings, in which a Member so affected, may have participated.”
The Government is also seeking an order from the court to “stay” the enforcement of the Parliamentary resolution, namely that elections be held in three months unless an extension is agreed to by the Opposition but the PPP continues to maintain that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed and that the Judiciary cannot interfere with the Speaker’s ruling or the Clerk’s affirmation.
“Moreover, the Judiciary has no jurisdiction to violate or extend any timeframe prescribed by the Constitution, since the Constitution is supreme and the Judiciary is subject to the Constitution, not vice versa.”
“We urge the Judiciary not to be complicit in any conspiracy to undermine and flout the Constitution and make a mockery of our democracy. We expect that this matter would be heard on a day-to-day basis and that the Judiciary would not contribute to the Government’s violation of the Constitution.”
The court action was filed in the name of one Compton Herbert Reid; the respondents in the case are Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Barton Scotland, Charrandass Persaud (who is no longer a Parliamentarian after he was recalled by the governing Coalition) and Attorney General Basil Williams.
The PPP intends to join the proceedings in the High Court.