Following the validation of the no-confidence motion by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), most legal minds believe elections ought to have been held on, or before September 18 (tomorrow). However, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, has dismissed these assertions, saying that there will be no implications because the date was “arbitrarily” named.  

“The sky will not fall. No, not at all. Not on September 18, the day after, or at any other time at all. However, anti-government elements have arbitrarily named September 18 – yes, Wednesday coming – as the drop-dead date for the holding of fresh elections! It will not happen; it cannot happen!” The PM wrote in his weekly column, “My Turn”, published in the state media. 

According to Article 106 (6) of the Guyana Constitution, “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.”  

106 (7) goes on to say: “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.”

The no-confidence motion was tabled and successfully passed in the National Assembly in December last year, however, its passage became subject to court proceedings as government challenged the decision in the local judicial system. The matter eventually went before the CCJ which ruled in the opposition’s favour.

The Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), said that the validation had triggered articles 106 (6) and (7), which means that elections should have been held three months after the CCJ ruling.

The PPP/C is now crying “constitutional crisis” with Cabinet’s refusal to resign, and the three months period expiring tomorrow.   

Nagamootoo said that the CCJ’s refused to name a date for elections, and therefore, September 18, as the date for elections, is a creation of the PPP’s imagination.

“September 18 is a fiction, a figment in the infertile imagination of the political opposition. So, I repeat: nothing will happen, or ought to happen, on this date… I repeat: The sky will not fall. No, not at all!” The attorney-at-law said. 

No definitive date has been set for elections, however, the newly-appointed Chairperson of GECOM, Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh, has given word to the PPP/C and government, that elections could be held before the “end of the year”.


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