Govt used 33 majority to carry other motions – Nandlall tells court

first_imgNo-Confidence motion challengeAs oral submissions into the no-confidence resolution cases continued before acting Chief Justice (CJ) Roxane George at the High Court on Friday, Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall who appeared on behalf of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo argued that the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application filed by Attorney General Basil Williams to “strike out” the vote on the no-confidence motion.During his argument, Nandlall stated that 33 votes were always calculated as a majority and were also valid as it was used to carry motions in the past. As such he gave the court an example of when such an instance occurred. “When the Government didn’t want Member of Parliament, the Honorable Clement Rohee to deliberate during the 10th sitting of the Assembly, they voted and that same 33 votes majority was able stopped him. So how is it difficult now?” he asked.According to Nandlall, the Blacks’ Law Dictionary states “A majority always refers to more than half of some defined or assumed set. In parliamentary law, that set may be all of the members or some subset, such as all members present or all members voting on a particular question.”The Oxford Dictionary defines a majority as “the state or fact of being greater, the number by which in voting, the votes cast on one side exceeds those cast on other.”Moreover, the Webster Dictionary states that a majority is “the quality or state of being greater: a number greater than half of a total: the excess of such a greater number over the remainder of the total.”Meanwhile, Attorney General Basil Williams, through his Attorney Maxwell Edwards, argued on several grounds stating that in order for the motion to be carried, the Opposition would need “half plus one”, that is, 34 votes.According to him, the provision in the Constitution which provides for the no-confidence vote is unacceptable to the earlier constitutional provision, as stated in Article 70 (3) which guarantees an elected Government a five-year term.In this submission, Williams claimed that 33 is not a majority of 65. As such, the Attorney General maintained that in order for a decision to be passed in the National Assembly under section 168 (1), where all 65 members are present and voting, the votes of 34 members must be obtained.No-Confidence resolutionOn December 21, 2018, the no-confidence motion brought by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo sent the Government toppling when then Alliance For Change (AFC) Member of Parliament Charrandas Persaud supported the motion.Jagdeo has for some time argued that Cabinet should have resigned by now, pursuant to the laws of Guyana. Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, clause 7 goes on to state that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”Even though less than 90 days remain in which elections must be held, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has made no significant moves towards preparing for holding elections.Chief Justice George has set January 31, 2019, as the date for the decision in these matters.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *