Nandlall says opinion on No-Confidence Motions now ready
More than a month after being written to for legal advice on the No-Confidence Motions against the Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, and two sitting government ministers, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall SC, says his opinion is now ready.
Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of an event on Wednesday, Nandlall said he will transmit that opinion to Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir soon.
The Speaker had delayed making a decision on whether the motions qualify for a debate and vote as he awaited the Attorney General’s advice. When asked for his opinion on the motions, Nandlall said he would prefer to send it to the Speaker who can make it public.
“The opinions are ready and will be transmitted in due course to the Clerk [of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs,” Nandlall said.
But whether the Speaker’s decision is to put the motions on the Order Paper for a debate, it will have to wait for another two months as Parliament has since gone into recess; the motions were filed in early July 2021 and the recess commenced on August 10, 2021. When the News Room spoke with Nadir on August 11 he pointed out that the issue relating to the No Confidence Motions will be dealt with after the recess which concludes on October 10.
The two APNU+AFC opposition sponsored motions against the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, and Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn were filed first with government’s motion against Harmon being filed days after.
The Opposition has argued that the government’s motion is not permitted for by the Constitution.
Article 184 (3) instructs that the removal of the Opposition Leader is effected when one-third of the non-governmental members of the National Assembly inform the Speakers that the Opposition Leader no longer enjoys their confidence.
The Speaker is expected to call a meeting of all non-governmental members where it shall be decided whether the Opposition Leader shall be removed from office. That Article further notes that the removal shall be effected by the votes of a majority of all of the non-governmental members.