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Govt seeks legal opinions on no-confidence motion

Last Updated on Monday, 24 December 2018, 17:57 by Denis Chabrol

The Ministry of the Presidency.

The Guyana government on Monday announced that it has sought legal opinions on the implications of the defeat its suffered in the National Assembly in the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion.

In a statement issued by the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, he said a special Cabinet meeting “examined all of the legal and constitutional aspects of the vote in the National Assembly on Friday, December 21st and established a Sub-Committee to advise on this matter.”

The Sub-Committee will examine all the legal opinions available and report to Cabinet on Thursday, December 27th with recommendations on the way forward,” he said.

The constitution clearly states that after a confidence motion is passed by a majority of members, the President and Cabinet must resign and elections must be held in 90 days unless otherwise decided by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.

Earlier Monday, Attorney General Basil Williams said Guyanese Senior Counsel, Rex Mc Kay has been hired to examine implications. “We have been looking at a variety of options. Mr Mc Kay is part of the process and we are not leave any stone unturned but also we have to be geared for an election and so we have to address our minds to that,” Williams told Demerara Waves Online News.

Barbadian lawyers, Ralph Thorne and Hal Gallop are also said to be part of the legal team that is examining the implications of the motion that was passed by a 33-32 majority after backbencher, Charrandass Persaud voted with the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Persaud, who was from the Alliance For Change (AFC), has since been expelled and has left Guyana.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday said he on Monday received correspondence from the Clerk of the National Assembly certifying the passage of the no-confidence motion.

In clear reference to well-known Guyanese Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes’ view that the motion needed 34 votes instead of 33 for passage, Jagdeo dismissed that suggestion.

He said he was now looking forward to meeting President David Granger early next month after he returns from Cuba where he is expected to be over the holidays for additional cancer treatment.

The President confirmed last month that he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the immune system.

Following a separate meeting of the National Security Council also held Monday, Harmon said “the government wishes to give the full assurance to you the citizens that all necessary measures to ensure your safety and security are in place and that, in this regard, you go about your business in a confident manner.”

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December 2018