Cases following the Dec 21, 2018 vote are before the CCJ

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Trinidad based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), this morning, began hearing (3) three cases stemming from the December 21, 2018 vote. The cases involving the Government of Guyana; Christopher Ram v The Attorney General of Guyana. In this case of Ram vs. the Attorney General, the political activist had petitioned the High Court to have government resign and President David Granger call elections within 90 days as stipulated by Articles 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution.

Hearing two; the Leader of the Opposition and Joseph Harmon; Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo vs. the Attorney General of Guyana, Dr Barton Scotland and Joseph Harmon and third, Charrandas Persaud v Compton Herbert Reid, Dr. Barton Scotland, Bharrat Jagdeo and Joseph Harmon.

The last case deals with Charrandas Persaud’s eligibility to vote in the National Assembly of Guyana.

In March, the Court of Appeal ruled in a 2:1 majority decision that a majority of 34 votes would have been needed to validly pass the No-confidence Motion brought against the Government on December 21.

Justices Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Dawn Gregory opined that while 33 is the majority of the 65-member National Assembly, the successful passage of a no-confidence motion requires an “absolute majority” of 34, and not the “simple” majority of 33 that has been used to pass ordinary business in the House.

The third appellate judge, Justice Rishi Persaud had dismissed the appeal and conferred with the ruling of the High Court.

Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal, the matters were appealed at the CCJ by the appellants, Christopher Ram, Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo and Charrandass Persaud (former MP). The CCJ at an earlier case management session had determined that all the matters will be heard together given their relating to the same issue. It also had set May 9 and 10 as the days it will listen to oral arguments.

Felecia Valenzuela.