Govt awaits Jan. 3 ruling of House Speaker – AG Williams

– Speaker is preeminent; if he finds that an error has been made in any decision, it can be corrected

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, December 30, 2018

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC., today said that the government will rely on the ruling of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland on the consequences of the December 21stmotion of no-confidence against the administration, when the House sits again on Thursday, January 3, 2019.

The Attorney General was a guest on the NCN’s live televised programme “Context” earlier today, where he was addressing the government’s current position on the issue.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC.

He said the government’s position has always been that the motion, voted in favour of the opposition by former government backbencher Charrandass Persaud, was not validly carried since the opposition needed 34 instead of 33 votes for an absolute majority.

According to the Attorney General, 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,” the AG stated.

He said in his capacity, the Speaker is preeminent. This means that if he finds that an error has been made in any decision, it can be corrected.

According to the AG, the government has also decided on presenting the House Speaker with a legal memorandum, where he will be provided with a panoramic view of all available options regarding the no-confidence motion. He said the Speaker can also invite a similar document from the parliamentary opposition, after which he can make his ruling.

AG Williams stated that the Speaker’s ruling will not be debated.

He also put to rest calls in some quarters for the administration to resign.

“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.”

Meanwhile, the Attorney General also addressed concerns about Persaud’s dual citizenship. He said lawyers are working on that matter as well.

Alexis Rodney.

Image: Department of Public Information.

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