Govt to file matter on Dec. 21, 2018 vote in High Court tomorrow

– President to meet with Opposition Leader on January 9

– Speaker’s decision “mature, wise and elevated,” – PM Nagamootoo

– “Democracies cannot be unstable, democracies cannot be fragile…”

– There will never be a resignation by the Coalition Government – Min. Ramjattan

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, January 3, 2019

Following the Speaker of the National Assembly’s ruling that the Courts should make the final determination on the December 21, 2018 vote, the Coalition Government will be filing the matter in the High Court tomorrow, January 4, 2019.

This was today confirmed by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon during a press conference hosted on the sidelines of the 112th Sitting of the National Assembly of the11th Parliament.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at the press conference.

Minister Harmon said President David Granger, earlier today instructed him to write the Leader of the Opposition requesting a meeting on January 9, 2019, at 11:00hrs at the Ministry of the Presidency. Government is also awaiting a response from the Opposition Leader about matters he would like to be addressed at the meeting with the Head of State.

Prime Minister and leader of Government’s business in the House, Moses Nagamootoo said the decision by the Speaker, Dr. Barton Scotland, has opened the door for a judicial challenge to December 21, 2018 vote.

He deemed this decision as a “mature, wise and elevated” one by the Speaker. The Prime Minister further stated that “democracies cannot be unstable, democracies cannot be fragile,” hence the Courts ruling will set a precedent.

Prime Minister Nagamootoo said it is now up to the Court of Law to decide if the total number of votes required for the motion to be carried is 34 or 33, among other considerations presented in several “strong” and “compelling” arguments presented to the Speaker, to which he alluded in his presentation to the House today.

Contrary to the Opposition calls for the Government to resign, the Prime Minister reminded that Article 106 (7) of the Constitution stipulates that the Government remains in office until the new President is sworn-in after the elections are held.

He said the work of the Government continues making reference to the passage of several critical bills today in the National Assembly which will pave the way for the further improvement of the lives of Guyanese.

Weighing in on the discussion, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan noted that the Speaker’s ruling will bring finality to the matter of the December 21, 2018 vote. He made it clear that there will never be a resignation of the Coalition Government, referencing Article 106 (7) of the Constitution.

The APNU+AFC Coalition Government remains in office and is entitled to exercise its functions as it still has full legal powers.

Meantime, Minister Harmon highlighted the “grandstanding” by the Opposition and posturing to create uncertainty in the society. Spending, by the Government, he said, is consistent with the 2019 National Budget which was passed by the National Assembly last year.

Stacy Carmichael.

Image: Jules Gibson.

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