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GUYANA | Jagdeo to meet with President Granger as gov't seeks legal opinion on vote

Featured Guyana's President  David Granger (Right)  is to meet with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo (Left) as a result of the successful no-confidence motion that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP) that went in the party's favour with 33 votes after a government legislator sided with the opposition. Guyana's President David Granger (Right) is to meet with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo (Left) as a result of the successful no-confidence motion that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP) that went in the party's favour with 33 votes after a government legislator sided with the opposition.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, December 24, 2018 - Guyana's President  David Granger is to meet with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo early next month after the Guyanese leader returns from Cuba where he is expected to undergo another round of cancer treatment.

The Opposition Leader  said Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has sent him a letter, stating that the President would be willing to meet with him at a date to be set in January.

Jagdeo said he intends to raise with Granger,  preparations for general elections by March 21, as a result of the successful no-confidence motion that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP) that went in the party's favour with 33 votes after a government legislator sided with the opposition.

Jagdeo says he expects to raise a number of concerns in the meeting, including the implications of the poor health of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Retired Justice James Patterson; closer political cooperation between the PPP and the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-dominated A Partnership for National Unity and  what was described as  the PPP’s expected caretaker status of the government in light of constitutional provisions.

Jagdeo also floated the idea of possibly raising with the President a pre-election political pact that none of them would take campaign contributions from any oil company.

Jagdeo, a  former Guyana President maintains that the constitution provides for the President and the Cabinet to resign once the 'no-confidence motion' is passed by a majority of members and for elections to held within 90 days or such longer period as two-thirds of the National Assembly decided.

Jagdeo told reporters in a press conference that the coalition government should now only be responsible for routine security, social sector services, and payment of salaries. “Anything outside the routine functioning of the State must come to a halt because the government has fallen. The have diminished authority,” Jagdeo claims.

He gave warning that should the PPP win the next elections, there will be  investigations and urged public servants to ensure they store all records and documents and stick to the laws as they need to assume a more prominent role in decision-making.

“We will have now enhanced scrutiny are aware that there would be a mad grab…,” said Jagdeo. “I’d say to all the public servants: do not be pressured to do anything illegal… The public servants have a bigger role to play in a caretaker role,’ he said.

Jagdeo  assured supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity /PNC and Alliance For Change coalition that they would not be discriminated against if the PPP returns to power. “As Guyanese, I say to them too that there is hope for the future. Any government that is formed by the PPP will not be judged by who they voted for.” he said.

In the meantime, the Guyana government has announced that it has sought legal opinions on the implications of the defeat its suffered in the National Assembly as a result of the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, he said a special Cabinet meeting “examined all of the legal and constitutional aspects of the vote in the National Assembly on Friday, and has established a Sub-Committee to advise on this matter.”

“The Sub-Committee will examine all the legal opinions available and report to Cabinet on Thursday, December 27th with recommendations on the way forward,” he said.

The constitution clearly states that after a confidence motion is passed by a majority of members, the President and Cabinet must resign and elections must be held in 90 days unless otherwise decided by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.

Barbadian lawyers, Ralph Thorne and Hal Gallop are also said to be part of a legal team examining the implications of the motion that was passed by a 33-32 majority after backbencher, Charrandass Persaud voted with the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

One school of thought from well-known Guyanese Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes is that the motion needed 34 votes instead of 33 for passage.

 

  • Countries: Guyana

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