Cabinet’s approval of State Boards unconstitutional, illegal- former AG

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Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall is contending that all Board of Directors appointed to State-owned entities has no effect since they were approved by a Cabinet that should have already resigned following the December 21 No-Confidence motion.

Nandlall was referring to appointments gazetted on Saturday in which it was stated that Cabinet “considered…and approved” the appointments of Board of Directors for the Allied Health Professionals Council, the National Accreditation Council, Board of Directors for the National Library, Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) and the Central Board of Health.

“There is no Cabinet, in consequence, there can be no meeting of Cabinet nor decision made by Cabinet. Consequently, all purported meetings of Cabinet and all purported decisions of Cabinet are unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful, null, void and of no effect,” the former Attorney General said.

Nandlall posited that since the passage of the No-Confidence Motion, Cabinet was legally disbanded.

He referred to Article 106(6) of the Constitution of Guyana which states that “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by a vote of majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”

In January 2019, the Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire in the case filed by Attorney Christopher Ram, ruled that the Cabinet of the Coalition Government ceased to exist immediately upon the passage of the No-Confidence Motion on the night of December 21, 2018.

She further stated that while Article 106 (7) of the constitution provides for the President and the Government to remain in place for three months after the passage of the motion; Cabinet is just a sub-set of the Government and therefore the Government can continue to function without the Cabinet.

She ruled that the Cabinet cannot meet and function as it did before.  Following her ruling, Cabinet meetings were referred to as ‘plenary.’

The Government resorted to having Cabinet meetings in March when the Appeal Court ruled that the No-Confidence motion against the APNU+AFC Government was not validly passed.

The Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo –who took the motion to the National Assembly –and former Alliance For Change (AFC) Member, Charrandass Persaud –who voted against his Government and facilitated the passage of the motion –took the case to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The CCJ on June 18 delivered its ruling that the motion was validly passed, reversing the local appellate court’s decision.  However, the Cabinet has not resigned.

The Former Attorney General is again before the High Court seeking an order compelling the Cabinet, including the President to resign. The case comes up for hearing on October 04 at 13:30hrs.

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