Declaring that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has failed Guyana in ensuring that general elections were promptly held in accordance with the December 21st, 2018 motion of no confidence, former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran says it is now up to the GECOM Chair to uphold the constitution.
In his column which appears in today’s Sunday Stabroek (see page 7), Ramkarran described the CCJ’s July 12th, 2018 orders on the no-confidence motion case as timid and ineffectual.
He noted that in countries with a Westminster constitution there is a long-standing convention that when a no confidence motion is passed against the Government, elections are promptly held. He pointed out that in 2001 the Parliament accepted the recommendation of the Constitution Reform Commission to include article 106 in the Constitution to provide for elections in three months if a no confidence motion is passed. Ramkarran, who had played in an integral part in that constitutional reform process, said that Parliament must have taken into consideration that if there is no constitutional provision and a no confidence motion is passed, the Government might ignore it. He said that Parliament also provided for the resignation of the Cabinet adding that the obvious reason was to institutionalise the caretaker status of the Government by confining it to largely administrative functions until the elections are held. In the absence of the Cabinet no major decisions could be taken, he said.
“What the Parliament sought to prevent has in fact occurred. A no confidence motion was passed on December 21, no elections have been held in the three months and the Cabinet has not resigned. The timid, indecisive and ineffectual decision-making of the CCJ has brought elections no closer, has left the Guyanese people defenceless in the face of an egregious assault on their constitutional rights and has left open its decision to more than one interpretation. The Caribbean Court of Justice has failed Guyana”, Ramkarran declared . . .
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