Diplomats urge political leaders to abide by the Constitution

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A joint statement from the U.S and U.K Ambassadors to Guyana and the Head of the European Union urged “all invoked actors” to abide by the “relevant provisions” of Guyana’s constitution following the consequential orders handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice on the December 21, 2018, No Confidence Motion.

“The Caribbean Court of Justice – Guyana’s Supreme Court – has spoken. It is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by its ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. We urge everyone to do so expeditiously,” the joint communique from the diplomats noted Monday.

Following the July 12 orders of the CCJ, the Government on Saturday accepted that it is an ‘interim’ Government but emphasized that it will still hold Cabinet meetings to provide public services.

The Constitution of Guyana at Article 106 (7) states that, notwithstanding its defeat in the National Assembly, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election.

Article 106 (6) of the Constitution also says that the President and Cabinet shall resign on the passage of a No-Confidence motion.

In its ruling, the CCJ urged the President, the National Assembly and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to abide by the letter and spirit of the clear constitutional provisions of a No Confidence vote – that elections should be held in three months.

The Court noted that the Constitution envisages that the Government continues as a caretaker or interim Government until elections are held and a new President is appointed. As such, the court said the Government is expected to behave as a caretaker.

While the Court stayed away from giving orders dictating the date by which elections should be held, it suggested that the provisions of the constitution set that timeline.

See below the joint statement from the diplomats: 

The United States of America Ambassador to Guyana, Ambassador Sarah-Ann
Lynch, United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, H.E. Greg Quinn, and the
Head of Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, Ambassador Jernej Videtič
joint statement following the issue of the Caribbean Court of Justice Definitive Orders
on 12 July 2019.
The Caribbean Court of Justice – Guyana’s Supreme Court – has spoken. It is
important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by its ruling and the relevant
provisions of the Constitution. We urge everyone to do so expeditiously.
15 July 2019

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