Ramjattan claims constitutional article mandating Granger’s resignation a “fiction”

first_imgDefying CCJ consequential ordersArticle 106 (6) of the Constitution of Guyana clearly states that the President and Cabinet must resign after a no-confidence vote, but according to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, this provision is a “fiction”.PPP MP Juan EdghillKhemraj RamjattanHe made this pronouncement during an appearance on radio programme ‘Hot Seat’, hosted by broadcaster Stan Gouveia, alongside People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament Bishop Juan Edghill.Ramjattan, who is also a lawyer by profession, described Articles 106 (6) and (7) of the Guyana Constitution as “legal fiction” when he was called out by Edghill for not complying with its provisions, that is, for the Government to resign and have elections within three months.“We’re not going to resign! We are not going to resign because we are still… there’s absolutely nothing in the Constitution that indicates a formal resignation. That was gone through by the CCJ and it was even gone through by the High Court”.“Announce what? Because the next article says notwithstanding that resignation, whatever it is, we continue in government. Who will the President send in his resignation to? I could send my resignation in to the President, but then I stop becoming a Minister that will have any powers whatsoever. So it’s a kind of a legal fiction that is spoken to in that article”.Ramjattan was hotly debated by Edghill, who stressed that Government cannot use the Doctrine of Necessity argument to remain in government without calling elections after September 18, when they were the ones who created the conditions for the necessity in the first place.“What needs to be done is for Granger and his Cabinet to do the first thing, resign. When they resign, they have publicly acknowledged that they intend to comply with the rulings of the CCJ and the Constitution”.“After their defeat, they became a caretaker government. A caretaker government means the Executive, the Cabinet, is disbanded. It means there can be no approval of new legislations, no amendments to current legislation, no implementation of new policy, no treaties signed, no agreements made, no major contracts awarded”.Edghill stressed that Guyana was not in a state of normalcy and that President David Granger needed to lead from the front, act in good faith, and uphold the CCJ rulings and the Constitution of Guyana.PressurePressure has continued to mount on the Government to comply with the Constitution. Recently, representatives of the international community had urged the country’s political players to act swiftly and in compliance with the Constitution, as ordered by the CCJ.In a joint statement issued last week, members of the diplomatic community in Guyana, including the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union, stated they have taken note of the CCJ’s pronouncements on July 12.They said it is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by the CCJ’s ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. The diplomats furthered urged that this adherence be done expeditiously.“The Caribbean Court of Justice – Guyana’s Supreme Court – has spoken. It is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by its ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. We urge everyone to do so expeditiously,” the diplomats said in the joint communique.This follows statements issued by the Private Sector Commission (PSC), which also urged compliance with the Court and Constitution. Dissolving parliament is a necessary step before calling an election. But so far, the President has made no moves to do this.It was only a few days ago that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo wrote President David Granger demanding his resignation. In the letter, Jagdeo reminded the President that since July 12, 2019, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) delivered its consequential orders in the matters of Zulkficar Mustapha versus the AG and others, Christopher Ram versus the AG and others, Bharrat Jagdeo versus the AG and others and Charandass Persaud versus Compton Reid and others.He listed several conditions for the President to accede to, including that the President and his Cabinet immediately resign and that the President issue a proclamation dissolving Parliament. He also called for the President to fix a date for the next General and Regional Elections, not beyond September 18, 2019.Jagdeo reminded the President that CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders had said that when the No-Confidence Motion was passed on December 21, 2019, Article 106 of the Constitution had immediately been activated.Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence”.Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election”.last_img read more