By: News 5
We have been following closely the latest political developments in Guyana since the passage of a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly last year. This morning, the Caribbean Court of Justice handed down a decision affirming the right of members of parliament to vote against their own government. On December twenty-first, 2018, Guyana’s Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo moved a motion of no confidence in the government. Thirty-two of his colleagues voted in favor of that position and were subsequently joined by Charandas Persaud, a member of the government. Guyana’s constitution states that the Cabinet, including the president, must step down if the government is defeated by the majority vote of all the elected members of the national assembly on a vote of no-confidence. The C.C.J. ruled that the motion was validly passed with a margin of thirty-three of the sixty-five seats in the legislative body.
Justice Adrian Saunders, President, Caribbean Court of Justice
“This is a summary of the judgment of the court in what I may refer to as the no-confidence motion case. Article 106-6 of the Guyana constitution states that the Cabinet, including the President, is required to resign if the government is defeated by the majority vote of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence. Article 106-7 further mandates that an election be held within three months of the vote or within such longer period as determined by two-thirds of all elected members of the assembly. On December twenty-first, 2018, the Leader of the Opposition moved the motion of no confidence in the government. All sixty-five members of the National Assembly were present and they all voted. Mr. Charandas Persaud, a government member, joined the thirty-two opposition members in voting for the motion, so that thirty-three members ultimately voted in favor of the motion and thirty-two voted against. Despite this, the government did not resign and no resolution was passed to prolong its continuance in office, instead litigation ensued.”