Date for CCJ verdict in weeks

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, May 11, 2019

“We will consider our decision and depending on that decision we will give a date when the decision will be given,” President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Adrian Saunders said, on the final day of oral submissions at the CCJ, on the December 21 (2018) vote in Guyana’s National Assembly.

In addition, Justice Saunders said “depending on the nature of the decision perhaps on that date we will decide what further submissions we need.”

Justice Saunders requested further submissions from GECOM but pointed out that those were not needed immediately. Speaking to GECOM’s Attorney-at-law, Stanley Marcus, as Friday’s session wrapped up, he stated “We would not want to hear that now.”

Attorney Marcus told the Court that he would be out of the jurisdiction until next week.

However, Justice Saunders responded stating that “we wouldn’t be able to give a decision next week”

Apart from GECOM, other parties will provide written submissions to the CCJ. Senior Counsel, Douglas Mendes, who is appearing for opposition leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, will respond next Tuesday, to arguments put forth by former Belize Attorney General, Eamon Courtenay SC.

In the meantime, during the afternoon session of Friday’s hearing, Senior Counsel, Eamon Courtenay, asked the court to declare Persaud’s, “unconstitutional vote null and void” … “and that the motion failed,” since Charrandas Persaud is “an imposter, usurper in the meaning of the cases, and the de facto doctrine does not avail him.”

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senior Counsel , Basil Williams, during his final submissions noted that both the government and opposition have chief whips in the parliament of Guyana, “And the whips determine how you vote at a particular sitting in parliament”

He explained that there was no constitutional provision, but rather a political position on which the chief whip could inform parliamentarians whether they could vote by their conscience.

He gave examples of such instances as cases concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights and capital punishment.

Felecia Valenzuela

Image: Kawise Wishart