CCJ’s Presidential Third Term decision due tomorrow

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 25, 2018

On Tuesday, June 26, the Trinidad headquartered Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Guyana’s highest court of appeal, will hand down its decision on presidential term limits in Guyana.

The CCJ will essentially be determining if Act No. 17 of 2001 is constitutional and if a former president can be allowed a third term.

Back in December 2014, the case was filed by the mysterious Cedric Richardson of Lot 4 West Ruimveldt, where he apparently no longer resides.

In July 2015, Former acting Chief Justice Ian Chang, just before he demitted office, ruled that Act 17 was unconstitutional. Act 17 of 2001 is an amendment to Article 90 of the constitution and sets term limits for presidents and eligibility for presidential candidates.

The Court of Appeal of Guyana, in February 2017, in a split decision, upheld this ruling which was appealed by Attorney General Basil Williams S.C at the CCJ, the final court recognised by Guyana. Former Acting Chancellor Carl Singh and Justice BS Roy ruled to uphold while the current acting Chancellor Yonette Cummings-Edwards dissented.

The case is ostensibly designed to allow Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to vie for the presidency for the third time since he has already served two terms as President from 1999 for 2011. The Opposition party – PPP, won a narrow minority government in the 2011 elections and lost to the APNU+AFC Coalition in 2015.

The revision to Article 90 of the constitution to set a two-term limit for presidents was a bi-partisan decision back in 2001.  The amendment set a two-term limit for presidents and outlined the requirements to become a presidential candidate.

The CCJ will hand down its decision tomorrow at 10am and it will be live-streamed on the court’s website which can be accessed here:

By: Tiffny Rhodius.