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34 votes needed to pass no-confidence motion; Charrandas Persaud’s Canadian citizenship also cited – gov’t sources

The Guyana Government on Saturday appeared set to challenge the outcome of the no-confidence vote on several grounds, official sources said.

Citing a number of legal authorities, an opinion prepared for the government states that a no-confidence motion can be passed by only a minimum of 34 votes or 50 percent of the House plus one.

That is because according to the opinion, 50 percent of the 65 votes is 32.5 rounded up to 33 plus another vote.

The opinion notes that a no-confidence motion is unlike the passage of any legislation that requires 33 votes.

The government is also expected to challenge the no-confidence motion on the grounds that now recalled government parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud is a Canadian citizen and actively exhibited such allegiance by travelling on his Canadian passport.

The legal opinion prepared for the government relied on a number of precedents in Anguilla and Vanuatu first cited by prominent Guyanese Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes.

The opinion says House Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland can legitimately correct the vote. Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs has already formally transmitted the results of the vote on the no-confidence motion to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and Minister of State Joseph Harmon.

The opinion also says the Court can legitimately hear a legal challenge on the results of the no-confidence motion.

Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Progressive Party continues to insist that the government should resign and make way for elections in 90 days.