Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire today ruled that the no-confidence motion against the Government of Guyana was properly carried by a majority in the National Assembly. She said with the vote being valid, the Cabinet should resign even as the President and Government remain in place.
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.
The Chief Justice also ruled today that former Government MP Charrandass Persaud was ineligible to be nominated and ineligible to be elected as a Member of the National Assembly. However, she added that the ineligibility does not render the motion and the vote invalid. She said both were properly carried.
It was Charrandass Persaud’s vote that flipped the majority over to the Opposition and allowed the no-confidence motion to be carried.
The Chief Justice made it clear however that the Guyana Constitution is very clear and persons who hold dual citizenship cannot be nominated and cannot be elected to serve as a Member of the National Assembly.
The Attorney General has already indicated that he intends to file an appeal in the matter that he took before the Court.