Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo today said he believes that the recent ruling by the Court of Appeal to invalidate the no-confidence motion against the Government of Guyana could have an impact all across the Caribbean and the world, if it holds up at the Caribbean Court of Justice.
In its ruling by a 2 to 1 majority, the Guyana Court of Appeal invalidated the no-confidence motion against the Guyana Government by indicating there was need for an absolute majority of 34 votes for the the motion to be carried. The motion was supported by 33 votes.
Mr. Jagdeo who still appeared surprised by the ruling said he believes that the Court has overturned the feeling of the legislators on the night of the vote.
“Any other interpretation by a Court cannot replace the mindset of the legislators and what they felt was necessary. And I believe that is why we thought it was such a weak argument, the 34-31 argument, that we never really talked about it in a great detail, because how do you overturn how the legislators felt by some obscure calculation and call it constitutional mathematics”, Jagdeo told reporters.
The Opposition Leader said it is clear that the Constitution speaks of a majority of all elected members and makes no reference to “absolute majority” or “simple majority”.
He said any Court reference to an absolute or simple majority would be departing from the Constitution.
Acting Chancellor, Justice Yonette Cummings and Appeal Justice Dawn Gregory, in their rulings, both said a simple majority and an absolute majority could not be the same.
They pointed to references in the Constitution about the passage of different motions and the need for a majority of members present as against a majority of all elected members.
Both Judges said 34 votes would have been needed for the no-confidence motion to be passed.
The Opposition Leader through his Attorneys have since filed an appeal of the Guyana Court of Appeal ruling with the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Jagdeo wants the CCJ to throw out the Guyana Court of Appeal ruling and validate the no-confidence motion.