That is one word Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, is using to describe the efforts of the APNU+AFC Government to have the passage of the No Confidence Motion reviewed by the Speaker of the National Assembly.
In fact, the Speaker has no such power, Jagdeo told media operatives today.
Jagdeo’s contention comes on the heel of revelations by the Government that they will be pursuing their options in having the recently passed No Confidence Motion reversed, including through a review by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland. In a statement earlier today, the Government said that the Speaker can “revisit and correct” any ruling that is found to be “unconstitutional.
However, at a meeting earlier today at his Church Street office, Jagdeo said, “He [the Speaker] did not vote. It was 33:32 votes. The Speaker reported to the House that it was passed…For the Speaker to come now to reverse that, he has to come up with a new definition of a majority. I don’t think the Speaker would want to put his credibility on the line.”
Further to this, Jagdeo said that the new argument that is being proffered by the Government about the need for 34 votes is irrelevant and obscure. He categorically stated that there is no precedent that can change the successful passage of the No-Confidence Motion.
However, Government is maintaining that the motion’s passage was unconstitutional, not only because an absolute majority was not attained but also because Former AFC Member, Charrandas Persaud, should have been disqualified to vote due to his dual citizen status.
Contentions to the motion’s passage first arose when attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes, who has close ties to the AFC, said on his Facebook page that it was 34 votes – not 33 – needed to pass the motion.
Further to this, Hughes said that there is a precedent to support his point, as he referenced one of his own cases, Hughes v Rogers. Civil suit 99 and 101 of 1999. Anguilla. Delivered Jan 12th, 2000.
Since bringing this matter to the fore, the Government adopted this position and will be asking the Speaker to review and pronounce on the matter at the January 3 sitting of the House. If the Government does not get the desired results from the Speaker, it will be challenging the matter in the courts.