CCJ dismisses application to cancel Friday’s sitting of National Assembly

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The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has dismissed an application by former Alliance For Change (AFC) Parliamentarian Charrandass Persaud to block Friday’s sitting of the National Assembly.

An urgent application was filed on Thursday by Persaud’s lawyer, Sanjeev Datadin, seeking an order to defer the convening of the National Assembly until the CCJ rules on all matters relating to the No-Confidence Motion.

The court further ordered that Persaud “pay costs to the Attorney General of Guyana, to be assessed if not agreed.”

According to court documents, the CCJ said the March 22nd decision by the Appeal Court declaring that the December 21 No-Confidence Motion was validly passed stands “until and unless this Court should reverse that decision.”

Therefore, it noted that the “the status of the Government and the National Assembly of Guyana is unaffected,” and “it would be imprudent in those circumstances” for the CCJ to restrain the Assembly from the meeting.

Datadin during a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday told the court that Friday’s sitting of the National Assembly is intended to pass critical financial legislation. He said this should not be allowed while the matters arising from the December 21 No-Confidence motion are before the court, considering the implications of the pending rulings.

Speaking with the media subsequently, the Attorney General, Basil Williams, said the representation made to the court by Datadin is untrue and that there are no financial bills to be considered in the National Assembly at Friday’s sitting.

He claimed that Datadin is attempting to influence the Court and malign the Government.

At the CCJ, Persaud and the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo have challenged the Appeal Court’s ruling of March 22 that the No-Confidence motion was not validly passed against the ruling coalition government.

They want to restore the decision of the Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire on January 31 that the motion was validly passed.

Persaud is also challenging the contention that he was ineligible to vote because he held dual citizenship –another ruling passed by the CJ on January 31 in a case filed by a private citizen, Campton Reid on the grounds that the Constitution blocks anyone being a dual citizen from being elected a Member of the House.

The court has set May 9 and 10 for hearings on the matter.

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