Attorney General appeals Chief Justice ruling on no-confidence motion

Attorney General Basil Williams has filed an appeal against Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire’s decisions in which she found that the no-confidence motion was validly passed and the President and Cabinet ought to have resigned immediately.

Williams, who named House Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo as the respondents, said the Chief Justice “erred and misdirected herself in law” when she ruled that the no-confidence motion was validly passed by an absolute majority of 33 to 32 parliamentarians in keeping with Guyana’s constitution.

The Attorney General also said George-Wiltshire “erred and misdirected herself in law” when she ruled that the House Speaker’s Ruling that the motion of no-confidence was carried by a vote of a majority of all the elected members.

Williams said the Chief Justice’s “decision was unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence.”

He said additional grounds would be filed when the Chief Justice’s written judgement becomes available. Similar grounds were filed in a related case by political commentator, Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram.

The Attorney General has tenaciously held on to an appeal court ruling in Vanuatu in which it was found that the absolute majority of that 52-member Parliament is 27, that is 50 percent (26 seats) plus one additional seat.

However, the Chief Justice in her ruling has pointed out that that precedent case was not applicable because the Vanuatu House is made up of an even number of seats while Guyana’s is uneven. The absolute majority of Guyana’s 65-seat House, she stated, is 33.3

The government and its three elections commissioners continue to demand house-to-house registration before the next general elections are held, while the opposition PPP maintains that elections must be held by March 20, 2019.