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Election date not constitutionally valid- Former CCJ Judge

Parliament Building

A University of Guyana (UG) Law Professor says that the May 11, 2015 date for general and regional elections is not constitutionally valid because President Donald Ramotar has not followed the required procedures.

Professor Justice Duke Pollard, in a letter to the privately-owned Stabroek News newspaper said that Article 61 of Guyana’s constitution requires the appointment of the election date by the President by proclamation- “that is an appropriate gazettable instrument in writing.”

Pollard, a former judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), said that Article 61 further requires that the appointment of an election date has to be made only after the dissolution of Parliament and not before nor during its prorogation.

The President and his learned Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs must be advised that, contrary to their delusionary understanding and the expressions of approbation by the political opposition and other well-wishers, a definitive determination of the election date within the meaning of Article 61 of the Guyana Constitution is yet to be made,” he said.

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has confirmed that Parliament remains suspended (prorogued) as of November 10, 2014 and has to be dissolved three months before polling day.  Against that background, government has until February 9, 2015 the latest by which Parliament must be dissolved.

He has said that the Constitution does not provide for the President to dissolve Parliament before naming the election date.

Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon ruled out a parliamentary sitting, including the tabling of the National Budget, before parliament is dissolved.