Home Letters Why the Appellate Court’s ruling is flawed?
The controversial Appeal Court’s ruling against the No Confidence Motion (NCM) resolves around the meaning of the word “majority” as intended by Article (106). No one in the Appellate disagrees that the greater number in the National Assembly constitutes a majority. The median or the 50th percentile of a set of numbers, by statistical and mathematical reasoning, is half the sum of all numbers plus one, or equivalently 1/2 (n+1).
In the case of the fifty (52) Members of Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu, one half of 53 (26.5) and then rounded up yield 27 as the majority. In the case of Guyana with 65 sitting Members of Parliament, one half 66 (65+1) is 33, the number that constitutes the majority as in the case of the Republic of Vanuatu.
However, in the Guyana case, the median was not applied. Instead, Chancellor Cummings-Edwards and Justice Gregory disaggregated the median formula into two overlapping stages to define the majority by taking one-half, rounded-up and then plus one to yield a majority of 34. This two-stage hybrid is mathematically and statistically flawed by international standards.
Why? In the first stage, the number is rounded-up, and again the rounded value is added to one to overstate the majority by one. Therefore, based on the median principles in determining the 50th percentile, 33 is the majority of 32 in the 65-Member Parliament; and, reflects the true effect of the constitution.
Chancellor Cummings-Edwards and Justice Gregory have been misguided in their ruling, but for Justice Persaud who correctly uphold the ruling earlier reached by Parliament and validated by the High Court.
Dr Dev Rawana, PhD