Jan 21, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – A correction to the COVID-19 Emergency Measures by President Dr. Irfaan Ali has resulted in the trade unions that had filed legal proceedings against the government to withdraw the case.The Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), last year filed legal proceedings against the government over the gazetted mandatory vaccine required for public servant workers.
Kaieteur News had reported that the “no vaccine, no entry” requirement had resulted in unvaccinated workers, who failed to provide a weekly negative PCR test, being denied entry into their place of work.
The unions were asking the High Court to declare that the COVID-19 health emergency guideline that was originally implemented by former President, David Granger, and the Presidential declaration of current President, Irfaan Ali, to be deemed ultra vires and in breach of constitutional rights of the workers.
The Unions had claimed that Granger exceeded his authority when he issued the first COVID-19 emergency measure back in March 2020 under the public health ordinance and that Ali did the same thing when he enhanced the order by issued guidelines for mandatory vaccination.
They contended that the President, along with his Minister of Health, did not contact/consult with the Central Board of Health for advice and recommendations as is required by the Constitution and as such; the Unions submitted that the Presidential declaration amounts to an unconstitutional delegation of the President’s powers and infringes on the Constitution.
However, with the corrections made to the orders, by President Ali the Unions were forced to withdraw their case since their grounds of objection has been
Attorney-at-law Darren Wade, who represented the Unions said, “The gazetted order was changed… COVID-19 regulations are now being managed by the Board of Central Health, which is prescribed by statute; not the Minister.” The lawyer added that it is on the basis of the regulations being fixed, the legal proceedings against the government was withdrawn in the High Court. He also noted that each party in the matter will bare their own costs.
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