The Government of Guyana has indicated that while it notes and respects the rulings of the Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George in the no-confidence cases, it will be filing an appeal of its case.
In a statement on Thursday night, the Government said while the ruling is not in its favour, “due process continues and the Government will file an appeal in the Court of Appeal. The government continues to believe that the full adjudication of this issue is in the national interest.”
The President David Granger led administration stated that until the matter is concluded at the highest court of appeal the status quo remains and the business of government continues as usual.
The Attorney General, Senior Counsel Basil Williams, is expected to first challenge the Chief Justice’s ruling in the local Court of Appeal and he has indicated that the appeal could go all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice, which is Guyana’s highest appellate Court.
The Opposition Leader’s Attorney, Anil Nandlall, has said that while anyone has a right to appeal, he believes the rulings of the Chief Justice are sound and it would difficult for any other Court to throw out the rulings.
On Thursday, Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire ruled that the no-confidence motion against the Government of Guyana was properly carried by a majority in the National Assembly.
The Chief Justice ruled that 33 votes in the National Assembly represented a majority of votes. She said there is nothing in the Guyana Constitution that caters for a rounding up of fractions.
Justice George-Wiltshire said while there is need for an absolute majority, she is of the opinion that 33 votes in the 65 member National Assembly would constitute that majority.
She said the issue of what constitutes a majority in the National Assembly in relation to the no-confidence motion was never raised in the National Assembly by either side and even on the date of the motion, there was no immediate objection to 33 being the majority.
The Government was contending that because there are 65 members in the National Assembly, an absolute majority should be 34, which would represent half of the number of members plus one.
The Chief Justice did not agree with that position.