Govt rejects false claims by Opposition Leader

– urges Mr. Jagdeo to be truthful, respect the Court ruling

Georgetown, Guyana – (April 2, 2019) The Government of Guyana rejects outright statements made by Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, yesterday, on the Hits and Jams Radio (94.1FM) morning programme, Jump Start, hosted by Mr. Gordon Moseley.

The Opposition Leader has repeatedly said that the Government is illegal and that the “constitutional arithmetic” is “ridiculous” referencing the Court of Appeal’s decision on the validity of the no-confidence motion passed by the National Assembly on December 21, 2018.

Mr. Jagdeo continues to make baseless and unsupported allegations against the Government, forgetting that he holds a constitutional post and is obligated to present only the truth to the citizenry.

During the radio interview, the Opposition Leader alleged inter alia, that the Government is illegal.  The Court of Appeal, by a 2-1 decision, ruled that the no-confidence motion dated December 21, 2018 and declared passed by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland was invalid.

The Justices of Appeal, Chancellor (Ag) Madam Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Madam Dawn Gregory both agreed that in order for the vote to be valid there needed to be 34 votes as opposed to 33 as was asserted by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party.

While the ruling of the Court of Appeal does not find favour with the Opposition, Mr. Jagdeo must be reminded that the Judiciary remains an independent arm of Government and its decisions must be respected.

The Opposition has since filed an appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) where the matter is slated for oral presentations on May 10, 2019.

“We do not want to be complicit with any illegality of the Government because as I said, if that case goes in our favour at the CCJ, and we expect it to, the numbers are just ridiculous in this constitutional arithmetic and then everything that the Government is now doing will be illegal too,” Mr. Jagdeo said during the radio interview.

Such statements by Mr. Jagdeo must be condemned.  The Judiciary is independent and the decisions therefrom, whether in favour or otherwise, must be respected by all.

Given the ruling of the Court of Appeal, the Government has resumed its functions. Should the CCJ overturn the decision of the Court of Appeal, the Government will abide by that ruling.

On the issue of dual citizenship, all Government ministers who hold dual citizenship have since resigned from Parliament effective April 1, 2019.  The Government of Guyana has demonstrated consistently that it will abide by the laws of Guyana and any ruling of the courts.

Additionally, Mr. Jagdeo continues to peddle misinformation about the Government’s intervention at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). GECOM is an independent agency and it is that agency that decided that there is need for house-to- house registration.

President David Granger has repeatedly said the Government will not support the disenfranchisement of citizens.  “We feel that elections are a normal part of democracy, but we don’t want any citizen to feel disenfranchised and it is evident from the evidence provided in the meeting this morning that the List is bloated… given the size of our population and much attention is focused on sanitising that List,” the President said on March 8, 2019 after meeting with GECOM.