Jagdeo wants CCJ ruling on no-confidence appeals before May

Having filed an appeal in the no-confidence case at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is hoping that a decision could be made before April month end, which coincides with the expiration of the current voters’ list.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

In addressing the media about the recent court ruling, Jagdeo noted that the appeal has been filed with the CCJ and a decision on the date for the ruling is expected shortly.
“We have filed a challenge to the matter at the CCJ and so tomorrow that matter will be discussed in a case management activity and then a date would be set for the hearing. We expected that that would be done before the end of April,” Jagdeo stated
On that note, Jagdeo said his party does not want to return to Parliament and if the CCJ upholds the No-confidence Motion, then every activity would be illegal, including the parliamentary sittings.
“And we do not want to be complicit in illegalities by the Government,” he added.
Jagdeo said the Court of Appeal ruling departed from what the Constitution prescribed, from the clear intent of the framers of the Constitution and from the intent of legislators on the night of the vote.
He said, “That is why we thought it was such a weak argument (33-34) that we never really talked about it in a great… because how do you overturn what the legislators felt, by some obscure calculation and call it constitutional Mathematics.”
Jagdeo said, “The Constitution did not say absolute majority or simple majority… when the court inserts this, they are rewriting the Constitution and the intent of the framers of the Constitution… it would be tantamount to the Judiciary rewriting our Constitution and taking the place of the Legislature.”
He said if the Appeal Court’s decision is allowed to stand by the CCJ, it will have grave impacts for the region. He said, “Now, any no-confidence motion that is passed, a precedent can be found and used for a challenge… a challenge that could insert strange Mathematics into the situation.”
He said the ruling departed from what the Constitution prescribed, from the clear intent of the framers of the Constitution and from the intent of legislators on the night of the vote.
According to him, the Appeal Court Judges has an obligation to review what took place, more so what was said, in the lead up to the vote on December 21, 2019, and on the night of the vote itself.
He said there was acceptance that 33 votes was the necessary majority for the passage of the No-confidence Motion. “On the night of the vote, after the Speaker declared that the motion was passed, there was no objection….nothing to say that 34 votes were needed,” Jagdeo said.
The Opposition Leader also referred to what was said by Alliance For Change (AFC) leaders, as well as then Opposition Leader David Granger, in 2014, when the AFC brought a No-confidence Motion against the then Donald Ramotar-led People’s Progressive Party Administration.
“The fact that they (the A Partnership for National Unity/AFC coalition) changed their minds in a political issue,” Jagdeo said.
Jagdeo noted that “no evidence” was provided to show that the framers held another view – one that said 33 of all 65 elected MPs was not the majority needed for the passage of the No-confidence Motion.
He added that the Constitution is clear in its language. Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states that, “The Cabine,t including the President, shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”
Jagdeo through his attorneys on Tuesday filed a notice of application for special leave to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in relation to the decision of the Guyana Court of Appeal on the no-confidence cases. They are asking for the case to be heard expeditiously.