(BROOKLYN, New York): It appears that the Guyana government is prepared to legally fight its no-confidence vote loss a week ago. While Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo – who successfully tabled the no-confidence motion that gained the support of a member of the one-seat majority government, Charrandass Persaud is calling on the government to resign, the David Granger administration is exploring its legal options.
In a statement issued late last week, the government said the Cabinet met earlier in the day and received a report from the Special Legal Sub-Committee which had been mandated to examine all the legal opinions available with regard to the motion passed in the National Assembly. Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Attorney General Basil Williams, presented several recommendations to Cabinet.
“Cabinet discussed various options and took certain decisions on the way forward,” it said, although it gave no indication what the recommendations were or what course of action would be taken.
“The coalition Government assures its supporters and the public that it will pursue all available options and act in the best interest of all Guyanese. Cabinet will provide subsequent updates as required,” the brief statement added.
But speaking to the media after a meeting of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) executive, Jagdeo was adamant that there are no legal options to pursue. “What legal options? You have failed on a no-confidence motion, you have to resign. There are no legal options to explore,” he said.
Even so, the PPP is taking no chances. Jagdeo said the party, of which he is general secretary, has written to Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire asking to be heard in any ex-parte matter being filed by the government.
“We deposited a letter in the Chief Justice’s office to say any attempt to seek ex parte arrangements to stay the no-confidence motion, we want to be heard on it. But we believe that the judiciary must not engage in any action that could violate what is so explicit in our Constitution and it’s explicit that the government must resign or else we’ll have a judicial coup reversing what took place in parliament,” Jagdeo said.
The Opposition Leader has insisted on the resignations, as provided for by Article 106 (6) of the Constitution which states that the Cabinet, 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.