By Ravin Singh
With the Government indicating that it is looking at several options and legal opinions regarding the passing of the no-confidence motion, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is gearing up for the Courts.
The disclosure was made by PPP Executive Member and former Attorney General (AG) Anil Nandlall during a recent interview.
A Bharrat Jagdeo-sponsored no confidence motion in the National Assembly last week found favour with government Member of Parliament (MP) and expelled Alliance for Change (AFC) member Charrandass Persaud. He handed the opposition the one vote it said it needed to topple his government after hours of intense debates.
Leader of Government Business in the House, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and President David Granger both initially appeared to have accepted the outcome of the motion, but the Government has been taking a second look at the issue and has reached out to prominent lawyers locally and internationally for legal opinions.
Today, Attorney General Basil Williams announced that the Government has dispatched a legal brief to the Speaker of the National Assembly and requesting that he relooks at outcome of the motion of no-confidence. The Government is claiming that the Opposition would have needed two extra votes to have a majority in the vote.
But the Opposition’s Chief Legal Mind, Anil Nandlall has said if the government does not comply with the constitutionally prescribed process, the opposition party will take the matter to court.
“We are not planning to approach the courts because at this point in time, we are expecting that the government will comply with the constitutionally prescribed process. If that does not take place, then we will have no other choice but to go to courts to enforce the Constitution. And we are hoping that we won’t have to resort to that challenge,” the former AG said.
Article 106 (7) of the Constitution of Guyana states, “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the elections.”
Nandlall went on to state that the PPP “will not sit idly by” and allow the government to “squat in office”.
“We have a duty to represent the interest of the people of this country. A government that is a sitting duck cannot act in the best interest of the people,” he added.
On Thursday, Jagdeo also told reporters that the PPP dispatched a letter to Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, asking to be heard in any legal matter brought to the courts by the government, in relation to the no confidence motion.
Meanwhile, the former AG also shared that the opposition party is concerned about transactions that the government may be engaged in, despite the passage of the motion.
He said that every transaction that would have been done after the no confidence motion was passed, would be the subject of tremendous scrutiny “to ensure that no wickedness didn’t take place,” and that state assets aren’t given away via corrupt transactions.