More legal challenges to No-Confidence motion

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After a private citizen Friday last filed court action challenging the validity of the vote of Mr Charrandass Persaud, the Government Monday moved to the court to block the enforcement of the No-Confidence motion and to establish what constitutes a majority in the National Assembly.

In one of the applications filed on Monday, Attorney General, Basil Williams has asked the court for an order to prevent the enforcement of the Parliamentary Resolution which declared that the No-Confidence Motion had been passed.

The Government also seeks a Conservatory order, preserving the status quo ante that the President and all Ministers of the Government remain in office until the hearing and determination of the matter.

In a separate application, the Attorney General has asked the court to determine:

(a)          Whether the Speaker’s Ruling that the motion of no confidence debated in the National Assembly on the 21st day of December 2018 was carried by a vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly is unlawful, null and void being contrary to Article 106 (6) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. (The Constitution)

(b)          Whether the motion of no-confidence upon a division vote of 33:32 Members of the National Assembly was validly passed as the requisite majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly pursuant to article 106 (6) of the Constitution.

(c)           Whether the requisite majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly ought properly to be 34 votes;

(d)          Whether the President and all Ministers of the Government can remain in Office as a majority vote was not duly carried in accordance with Article 106 (6) of the Constitution;

(e)          Whether the Court can make an order setting aside or nullifying the Speaker’s ruling that the motion was carried;

(f)           Whether the court can make an order staying the enforcement of Resolution 101 declared by the Clerk of the National Assembly to have been passed on the 21st of December, 2018 in the National Assembly.

(g)          Whether the court can grant a conservatory order, preserving the status quo ante that the President and all Ministers of the Government remain in office until the hearing and determination of the questions sought herein.

The respondents in the two applications made by the Attorney General are Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

On Friday last, private citizen, Compton Reid moved to the High Court seeking orders to set aside the No Confidence vote of December 21 on the grounds that the vote of Charrandass Persaud was invalid because he holds a Canadian passport.

Further, Reid is 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.

The action was filed by a team of lawyers led by Senior Counsel Rex McKay.

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.

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