CCJ reserves judgement in Guyana motion of no confidence appeal

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Friday reserved judgement in the appeal brought by Guyana Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo challenging the ruling of the Court of Appeal in his country, that invalidated a motion of no confidence that was passed in the National Assembly in December last year.

“I want to thank counsel for your very interesting submissions. Naturally we will have to take time to consider and we would let you know when we are ready with the decision,” CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders, said after the five-member panel had heard oral submissions over the past two days.

The appeal by Jagdeo is among the three matters that have been consolidated by the CCJ, the country’s highest and final court, regarding the vote of no confidence.

The other cases, filed by Charrandass Persaud and attorney Christopher Ram, are to determine whether or not a majority of 34 votes were needed to ensure the downfall of the government and should President David Granger and his government have resigned and allow for fresh regional and general elections within 90 days following the vote of no confidence that was passed in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018.

When the matters came before the High Court in Guyana in January, it ruled that only 33 votes were required. However, on appeal to the Court of Appeal, the three-member panel by a 2-1 majority held that 34 votes were required.

Persaud, who was then a government legislator voted in support of the motion in the National Assembly, ensuring that the coalition administration lost its one-seat majority in the 65-member legislative body.

The Guyana government had argued in the appeal that Persaud was ineligible to vote because he held dual citizenship.