Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Guyana gov't awaits ruling by Speaker on no confidence vote

Published:Monday | December 31, 2018 | 10:12 AM
Guyana's Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams - CMC photo

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Guyana government says it will await a ruling by the Speaker of Parliament Dr Barton Scotland regarding the successful motion of no confidence filed by the opposition earlier this month, even as it hinted at taking the matter to court.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams said that the government will rely on the ruling of the Speaker on the consequences of the December 21 motion of no-confidence that was successfully tabled and debated by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo when the Parliament meets on Thursday.

Williams, speaking on a television programme, said the government’s position has always been that the motion, which passed by a vote of 33-32 with support from former government backbencher Charrandass Persaud, was not validly carried since the opposition needed 34 instead of 33 votes for an absolute majority.

He said the Speaker has the power to revisit any decision he sees fit.

“Parliament is actually supreme in its own arena. So, we are responsible for our internal rules and procedures. There are rules that can be changed by amending certain standing orders and once the vote is carried, then that is it,” Williams said, adding that the Speaker in his capacity, is preeminent, meaning that if he finds that an error has been made in any decision, it can be corrected.

During his television interview, Williams brushed aside calls in some quarters for the coalition government of President David Granger to resign as a result of the vote.

“Even if you say it (no-confidence motion) was validly passed, under Article 106:6 (of the Constitution), Article 106:7 says notwithstanding such defeat, the government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months.”

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