Reply to "This document is quite interesting reading - comments of Ian Chang"

Every single letter in SN so far is against Chang's ruling.  Everybody is focusing on the term-limits part without acknowledging that the amendments also trampled on the rights of overseas based Guyana-born citizens who contribute US$440 million a year to Guyana's economy...this has to be Guyana's most profitable industry.  So here is an excerpt from the Chang's ruling obtained from the link posted by KishanB above.

 

Article 90 of the Constitution, prior to its purported alteration by Act 17 of 2001, provided:

“A person shall be qualified for election as President and shall not be so qualified unless he or she –

  • is a citizen of Guyana; and
  • is otherwise qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.”

Provided that a person holding the office of President or otherwise discharging the functions of that office shall not on that account be disqualified for election as President.”

 

After the purported alteration by Act No. 17 of 2001, Article 90 now reads:

  • A person shall be qualified for election as President and shall not be so qualified unless he or she –
  • is a citizen of Guyana and is a Guyanese by birth or parentage as defined in articles 43 and 44.
  • is residing in Guyana on the date of nomination for election and was continuously residing therein for a period of seven years before that date.”
  • is otherwise qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
  • A person elected as President after the year 2000 is eligible for re-election only once.
  • A person who has acceded to the Presidency after the year 2000 and served therein on a single occasion for not less than such period as may be determined by the National Assembly is eligible for election as President only once.”

 

The underlined provisions or parts thereof are the alterations purportedly effected by Act No. 17 of 2001 which was supported by 2/3 of all the elected members of the National Assembly.

 

It does appear that, although the challenge of the plaintiff is only to the constitutionality of Article 90 (2) and (3), Article 90 (1) (a) and (b), as altered by Act No 17 of 2001, also purports to disqualify for Presidential candidature citizens of Guyana by registration and citizens of Guyana not resident in Guyana on the date of nomination and for at least 7 years immediately preceding that date.

 

 

Article 90 (2) and (3) purports to render a person who has served as President for at least two terms (whether consecutive or not) ineligible for election or re-election as President.  There can be no doubt that the purported effect of the alterations to Article 90 is to render persons previously qualified or eligible for Presidential candidature as unqualified or ineligible therefor. Among these would be perhaps hundreds of persons who have acquired citizens of Guyana by registration and perhaps thousands of non-resident citizens of Guyana by birth or descent. The purported effect of the alterations is also to render former President Bharrat Jagdeo, who has served as President for two terms, disqualified for re-election as President.

Last edited by VVP

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