Govt will abide by the CCJ’s ruling – AG Williams
– up to opposition to act in good faith – SC Courtenay
– while it abides by the ‘interim’ govt ruling by the CCJ, the Cabinet has not stopped functioning and public services will continue to be provided
DPI, Guyana, Saturday, July 13, 2019
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Basil Williams has reiterated the government’s acceptance of the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) ruling on Friday.
“President David Granger has reiterated that this government shall respect the decisions of the court and this will be no less so in respect of this ruling,” the AG said during an invited comment following the ruling.
The Legal Affairs Minister expressed satisfaction with the court’s order that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) discharge their functions with integrity.
“It means, therefore, that GECOM must inform the president as to their ability to hold an election as it relates to when and how soon… that dialogue would have to continue, and in that regard the president has always maintained that once he is advised about the elections, it would be activated,” Minister Williams explained.
In relation, to the interim government ruling, the AG noted that that “relevant players will now have to flesh out” what that means.
Belize Senior Counsel, Eamon Courtenay, who was a part of Guyana’s legal team, deemed the consequential orders a “triumph for the Constitution of Guyana”.
The CCJ’s ruling, he said, affirmed the constitutional role of the president, GECOM and all involved in ensuring elections are held. He emphasised that it is now up to the leader of the opposition to act in good faith to ensure it is executed.
“It’s up to all actors, including the opposition to act in good faith to ensure that democracy thrives and succeeds in Guyana.”
Attorney-at-law Roysdale Forde reiterated the Senior Counsel’s view that the court acted within their jurisdiction. “The decision represents the court recognition of the limits of its own power as part of the constitutional system of the state of Guyana because it would be strange and odd for the court to have intervened.” He further noted that GECOM has a responsibility to exercise its constitutional function.
On Friday, the CCJ ruled that it would be erroneous for it [court] to set a deadline or date for the holding of elections in Guyana when the Constitution authorises the president, the National Assembly and, indirectly, GECOM to do so.
In a release, the administration stated that while it abides by the ‘interim’ government ruling by the CCJ, the Cabinet has not stopped functioning and public services will continue to be provided. The administration is will also confer with the opposition on matters which require the consensus on both sides.
According to the dispatch “the Constitution of Guyana at Article 106 (7) [states] notwithstanding its defeat in the National Assembly, the government shall remain in office and shall hold an election.”
His Excellency President David Granger, in an address to the nation, has assured of the speedy appointment of a GECOM chair and the holding of credible General and Regional Elections.