Gov’t has no fear or trepidation of CCJ ruling, will accept decision – Harmon

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The Government has “no fear or trepidation” of next Tuesday’s ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on the No Confidence motion, Director General of the Ministry of Presidency Joseph Harmon said on Friday.

“This is the final court and that is the CCJ and therefore whatever decision the court arrives, this is a decision which we as a Government is committed to accept,” Harmon said at a post-Cabinet news briefing.

“We are prepared for whatever the court will decide,” he added, emphasising that the findings of the court will be accepted and that the Government will be “bound” by the ruling.

“We do not hold any fear about what the court is going to decide. We have no fear about that. We will honour and obey the decision of the court,” Harmon further declared.

Next Tuesday’s ruling by the CCJ will conclude a lengthy legal battle over the December 21 No Confidence vote in the National Assembly.

The Court must decide whether 33 votes were enough to pass the No Confidence motion on December 21, or whether an extra vote was required for a majority in the 65-seat House.

The Opposition People’s Progressive Party had piloted the motion in the National Assembly but only had 32 seats.

Government Parliamentarian Charrandasss Persaud defected and gave the 33rd vote.

The Court of Appeal in Guyana later overturned a High Court ruling which validated the passage of the motion, saying that 34 votes and not 33 were needed to pass the motion. But the Opposition Leader appealed the ruling at the CCJ.

Even though both the High Court and the Court of Appeal had ruled that Persaud, because of being a dual citizen, was not qualified to vote, a clear constitutional provision saved or made his vote legal and valid.

Persaud’s vote meant the Opposition had secured the votes it needed to bring down the Government, with the constitution dictating elections in three months.

Those elections have not been held because of the legal challenge.

If the CCJ upholds the passage of the motion, it will then have to dictate the remedies to follow, given that the three-month constitutional deadline for elections has passed.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has told President David Granger that elections are only possible in late November.

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