Chief Justice grants AG time to file affidavit in response
Chief Justice Ian Chang on Tuesday granted Attorney General, Anil Nandlall twenty one days leave to file an Affidavit
in Response to court action brought by Attorney-at-Law Saphier Husain-Subedar, asking the courts to rule that all municipalities be dissolved and Interim Management Committees established instead.
The Attorney had filed action asking that Local Government Elections to be held by December 2014. Husain-Subedar, Leader of the National Independent Party of Guyana, had approached the court earlier this month, asking for orders that will force Government to hold Local Government Elections between November 1st and December 7th, of this year. He named the Attorney General and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Norman Whittaker, as the respondents.
During the brief proceeding on Tuesday, Attorneys representing the Attorney General requested a period of twenty- one days to file the affidavit in response to the action. Their request was granted by the Chief Justice.
In the motion filed, Husain-Subedar said that he is using the Constitution of Guyana and its amendments to back his case, as the laws are being contravened.
According to the lawyer, who said his party will be contesting the long overdue Local Government Elections last held in 1994, he wants a declaration that the current Local Authorities (Elections) Act; Cap 28:03 Section 36 A (1) is unconstitutional, inconsistent and repugnant to Articles 21 and 71 of the Constitution of Guyana, Universal Declaration of Human Rights Sec (21), and the United Nation Declaration on Criteria for free and fair elections (1994) Article (1).
As such, he wants the High Court to declare that the delay in holding the elections in excess of 20 years has violated his constitutional rights. He said that the delays would mean that from December 2nd, 2013, the Local Democratic Organs and Municipalities of Guyana would have been illegal.
The lawyer is also asking for a declaration that all acts done, contracts made, taxes collected, wages paid, etc… as from December 2nd, 2013, by all the persons who are in positions in the Local Authorities, Municipalities and Neighborhood Democratic Councils, have been operating illegally.
The lawyer also wanted a court declaration “that the Municipalities and Local Democratic Organs be dissolved and all persons – Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Councillors, vacate their positions and deposit their travelling documents to the Chief Immigration Officer and deliver all accounting records to an auditor or auditors appointed by the Court, and further ordered that no such person leave the jurisdiction without prior approval of the Court or until satisfactory audit reports be tendered.”
Husain-Subedar is also asking for an order that will see an interim management “Controlling Committee” be set up, consisting of professionals, members of the religious organizations, civil society, Chambers of Commerce, businessmen, and members of the Guyana Defence Force in each of the Municipalities and Local Democratic Organs, until a regular and periodic election be held in accordance with law.
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