Former Attorney General Anil Nandall now wants the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) declared caretaker government vacate office. In fact, Nandlall has moved to the High Court where he is seeking an order compelling Cabinet, including the President resign as government was defeated on the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion on December 21, 2018 in the National Assembly.
By way of a Fixed Date Application (FDA) filed on Monday, Nandlall said that further or in the alternative he is seeking a Mandatory Order compelling the Cabinet, including the President to give effect to the resignation of the Cabinet, including the President, which occurred by operation of law, consequent upon the government being defeated by the No-Confidence Motion pursuant to Article 106(6) of the Constitution of Guyana.
Further in the alternative, he is seeking a Conservatory Order or an order restraining the Cabinet, inclusive of the President, from meeting, making decisions as, or performing the functions of Cabinet, consequent upon the Government being defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of no- confidence on the 21st day of December, 2018, in accordance with and pursuant to Article 106(6) of the Constitution of Guyana.
He is also asking for such further orders that the court deems fit and costs. Nandlall’s application is based on the No-Confidence Motion that was tabled by Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo which was successfully passed by a vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly, and in consequence thereof, Resolution 101 was issued by the Clerk of the National Assembly, certifying that the said vote was lawfully and properly passed.
In court documents, Nandlall has specifically referred to Article 106 (6) and 106 (7) of the Constitution of Guyana. According to Article 106 (7)), “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by a vote of majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly.”
Article 106(7) adds, “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 election.”
Nandlall argues that nine months has already elapsed since the Cabinet, inclusive of the President, has failed, and or neglected, and or omitted, to resign in accordance with the unambiguous prescription and mandate of Article 106(6) of the Constitution, the Supreme Law of Guyana. Chief Justice Roxane George is still to fix a date for hearing the application which was filed on Monday.
According to Nandlall, he intends to use the following as documentary evidence at the hearing: an affidavit sworn to by him, a copy of letter dated 20th July, 2019, addressed to President David Granger and signed by the Leader of the Opposition; a copy of letter dated 5th August, 2019, addressed to the Leader of the Opposition and signed by President David Granger; and copies of articles from national newspapers, enjoying daily circulation within Guyana and other media outlets, capturing and reporting that the Cabinet, inclusive of the President, will not resign.
Despite accepting that government can only conduct routine functions given its interim status, the President has insisted as well as several ministers have insisted that Cabinet will continue to function. Acting on advice from Attorney General Basil Williams, President Granger had advised Jagdeo that neither himself nor the Cabinet will be resigning and that the constitution provides that a President and Government remain in office until such time that a new President is sworn in.
This was shortly after Jagdeo wrote to the President with several requests, one being that Cabinet, including the President resign in keeping with the key aspects of the June 12 Consequential Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which was rendered given the court’s ruling in the consolidated No-Confidence Motion appeals.
In its Consequential Order, the CCJ held that the National Assembly properly passed a motion of No Confidence in the Government on 21 December 2018; (f) upon the passage of this motion of no confidence in the government, the clear provisions of Article 106 immediately became engaged.
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