If Opposition does not have power to cut Budget 2012, they cannot cut Budget 2014 – AG

 

- Court is final arbiter

THE final ruling of Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang in the now infamous budget cut case has laid a number of legal issues to rest, many of which were novel, given the parliamentary configuration in which the Opposition holds a one-seat majority.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs

Speaking on the television programme Political Scope, recently,  Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall said that the ruling has vindicated the position that the Government has firmly held over the past two years, which is that the parliamentary Opposition cannot, by a mere majority vote, alter the country’s national estimates of expenditure as presented by the Finance Minister.

No power to cut
In 2012, the Opposition rocked the nation when it inflicted several cuts to the budget totalling $20.8B. At that time, the AG, as well as several other government MPs presented to the Parliament cogent arguments, all pointing to the unconstitutionality of this action. These initial arguments have finally been validated by Justice Chang’s ruling which states that the powers of the National Assembly are limited to giving or withholding approval for the annual estimates of expenditure presented by the Executive through its Finance Minister. The National Assembly, more specifically the Opposition, therefore, has no power to reduce the said estimates.
Minister Nandlall explained that apart from having no power to inflict a reduction, the Opposition cannot substitute their own estimates, and use their majority of one to pass that substitution since the Constitution clearly states that the responsibility for the presentation of national estimates is that of the Finance Minister.

Separation of powers
The doctrine of the separation of power reposes in the Executive the power to prepare and present to the legislature, estimates of expenditure for the country on an annual basis.
“A part of the legislature cannot arrogate unto itself a power which the constitution resided with the Executive and using mere majority votes in the National Assembly to hijack that power from the Executive and seek to exercise it,” Minister Nandlall explained.
He recalled that having failed in persuading the Speaker and the Opposition to withdraw the motion to cut on the basis of its unconstitutionality, the government was left with no choice but to seek recourse in the courts, which is the appropriate resort when any organ of State violates the supreme law of the land.

Preliminary ruling
Minister Nandlall recalled that when the preliminary ruling on this matter was made, the Opposition refused to be bounded by it. “They incredulously and irrationally felt that they can disregard that ruling, that somehow that ruling has no force and they were calling upon us to have a final ruling.”
He explained that there are no ambiguities in the law as they relate to court rulings, whether preliminary or final. “Every person who has a fleeting knowledge of and/or is acquainted with the law knows that a ruling from a court, unless and until it is set aside, whether it is interim or final, it must be obeyed,” the AG said.

Standing Orders
One of the arguments advanced by the Opposition was that the power to cut the national estimates was conferred on them by the Parliament’s standing orders. This issue was thoroughly dealt with by the Chief Justice in his ruling.
The AG relayed that standing orders are merely rules of procedures for the internal operations of the National Assembly; they are not laws and are not published in the Official Gazette. Moreover, these standing orders do not require the assent of the President and therefore they do not have the force of law.  “The standing order cannot confer a power; it just regulates a procedure… legal powers are conferred by law or the Constitution, and it is the Constitution that confers powers on the Minister of Finance and on the Opposition in the National Assembly, a power to approve or withhold approval,” he explained.
He reminded that the Constitution, as the supreme law of the land, prevails over any law that conflicts with it, and similarly, if standing orders, which do not have the force of law, collide with the Constitution, then they too will be deemed unconstitutional and unlawful.

Struck out
With regard to the Chief Justice’s ruling to exclude Opposition Leader, David Granger and Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh from the proceedings, the AG explained that this ruling accorded with Article 172 of the Constitution, which stated that no civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member of the National Assembly for spoken or written words to the National Assembly or anything brought by way of petition or Bill.
“It is correct that we have never had this type of parliamentary configuration before, and therefore litigation of this type has never arisen before. Everyone is learning or trying to deal with these legal issues that are arising; this judgment has, in a great way, addressed many of the grey areas out there, and has given guidance for the future conduct of the National Assembly,” the AG said.
When this ruling was made, the Opposition Leader indicated his intention to appeal the case. At that point, the Chief Justice, of his own volition, placed the budget cut case on hold for almost five months to facilitate the appeal.  At the end of that process in the Full Court, the Opposition Leader lost that case; it was then that the Chief Justice proceeded to render his final ruling.
“A court can only be forced to stop hearing a matter or from not proceeding to hear or conclude a matter if another court orders that court to do so. We have no court order here to that effect from any court which prohibits the Chief Justice from moving forward. He voluntarily waited for almost five months. They went to the full court, filed whatever they had to file and they lost again,” the AG said.

Future budgets
Though the ruling of the Chief Justice deals with the 2012 budget, Minister Nandlall explained that the principles he adumbrated here are principles of law that ought to guide future budgets.
“If you do not have a power to cut the 2012 budget, you cannot have the power to cut the 2014 budget, unless we change the Constitution to give some additional power which you now do not have. I am hoping that we will not be visited with the ordeal of the Opposition disregarding the clear, final ruling of the Chief Justice of the country to once again attempt to cut the national estimates, because again they will demonstrate to this nation that they are prone and they have this proclivity to violate the law of the land and to use their votes in the National Assembly to bulldoze parliamentary processes and procedures,” he stated.
Since this ruling has been announced, AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan has told the media that they will be filing an appeal. However, the filing of an appeal, would not in anyway put this ruling on hold.
The AG explained that a ruling from a judge can only be put on hold by order of another court, either of its equal or of a more superior jurisdiction. He pointed out too, that the Chief Justice, in his ruling, did not order anything to be done; he simply declared what the law is in relation to this matter.
“You do not get a stay of a declaratory order. The Chief Justice has simply declared in accordance with the Constitution that the Opposition has no power to cut the national estimates …the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature is the only institution in the country that has the power to interpret and declare on the Constitution of Guyana and what it says and what it doesn’t say. If you disagree with that ruling of that High Court, then you go to the Court of Appeal and then the Caribbean Court of Justice,” the AG informed.

Final arbiter
Importantly, Parliament does not have the power to declare provisions of the constitutions and since the court is the final arbiter on matters of law in Guyana’s legal system, then its declaration is final and binding on every agency of State, including the President and the Parliament.
Should the Opposition proceed to cut the 2014 National Budget, as they have already indicated, then according to the AG, the Speaker would be put in an invidious position, since a large part of the Chief Justice’s judgment clearly outlines the direction in which the Speaker ought to be guided.
The ruling declares what the final position is in relation to motions that can be filed in the National Assembly.
“The Speaker, on repeated occasions, has said openly and publicly that he has some power of review over what transpires, so in his power of review, he has to ensure that the Constitution is not violated,” the Legal Affairs Minister highlighted.
The National Assembly is a creature of the Constitution and is bound by it. The court, in its ruling as the final arbiter, gave its interpretation of the constitution. If this interpretation is deemed to be inaccurate, then the legal system provides a method by which that inaccuracy can be rectified.
“It is not open to any agency or person or authority to flout what is the final pronouncement coming from the court of law on matters of law and the Constitution. All are bound, including the Speaker, the Executive, and even the Judiciary itself by what the judiciary declares to be the Constitution and the intention of the framers of the Constitution, and by what it interprets to be the law of the land,” the AG concluded.

 

source:Guyanachronicle

Original Post

Interesting, if as the afc/pnc leadership have indicated, they will continue to go after line items rather than the entire budget, then the govt can ignore the line item cuts and implement the complete budget. This would be tragic, the afc/pnc need to either negotiate with the ppp before hand and either cut or pass the entire budget based on prior negotiations, just as we do here in the US.

Originally Posted by Conscience:

 

 

If Opposition does not have power to cut Budget 2012, they cannot cut Budget 2014 – AG

 

- Court is final arbiter

THE final ruling of Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang in the now infamous budget cut case has laid a number of legal issues to rest, many of which were novel, given the parliamentary configuration in which the Opposition holds a one-seat majority.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs

Speaking on the television programme Political Scope, recently,  Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall said that the ruling has vindicated the position that the Government has firmly held over the past two years, which is that the parliamentary Opposition cannot, by a mere majority vote, alter the country’s national estimates of expenditure as presented by the Finance Minister.

No power to cut
In 2012, the Opposition rocked the nation when it inflicted several cuts to the budget totalling $20.8B. At that time, the AG, as well as several other government MPs presented to the Parliament cogent arguments, all pointing to the unconstitutionality of this action. These initial arguments have finally been validated by Justice Chang’s ruling which states that the powers of the National Assembly are limited to giving or withholding approval for the annual estimates of expenditure presented by the Executive through its Finance Minister. The National Assembly, more specifically the Opposition, therefore, has no power to reduce the said estimates..

 

source:Guyanachronicle

 

 

OH Nadalala being his dunce self again!

Originally Posted by Conscience:

The PPP/C is ready for elections at any given day, as soon as the joint opposition pass a vote of no confidence, the party is well equip to contest the polls.

enlighten me about this but if a snap election is call and the ppp get a minority again can the opposition call a noconfidence motion against them and a interim government take over or the army.maybe in this way we can get a chance to change the constitution.can somebody please tell me if this is possible 

Originally Posted by Demerara_Guy:

In a snap election, should the PPP/C win a minority government and again there is a non-confidence vote, another election must be held within ninety days.

the ppp will always be a minority from now on,live with this facts,the ppp have two choose one they reform and listen to the opposition or  force out of power,a little power is better than no power.the guyanese people reach  the end of the rope

Simple solution to the specific issues.

 

The opposition political parties - PNC and AFC - need to put forward concrete proposals to the changes to these sections of the Constitution, because they require, at least, two-thirds vote by the MPs.

 

Again, for practical purposes, the PPP/C has 50 percent of the votes.

 

When will the PNC and AFC take the steps to match the needed number of MPs for these changes?

Originally Posted by Conscience:

The joint opposition are very cognizant, in the event of them passing a vote of no confidence, their razor thin "majority" would be lost. The PPP/C has fully recovered from incumbency fatigue.

There is no need for the very before cognizant. The opposition is wise to prolong this so we see how much of the autocratic formulations they can come up with. The anti laundering bill is so full of co opting of authority that it should be dumped in the trash. I hope the joint opposition. I cannot imagine the AG and Ashni having the authority to formulate lists of corrupt launderers when they are at the epicenter of the administration money laundering scheme. Ashni Luncheon and Jagdeo are the keystones of NICIL with Brazzington as their flunky. Imagine Ashni getting to say who is a launderer or not with no intervention of the legal system? The PPP can call for elections if it want. Let them do it.

Originally Posted by Danyael:
Originally Posted by Conscience:

The joint opposition are very cognizant, in the event of them passing a vote of no confidence, their razor thin "majority" would be lost. The PPP/C has fully recovered from incumbency fatigue.

There is no need for the very before cognizant. The opposition is wise to prolong this so we see how much of the autocratic formulations they can come up with. The anti laundering bill is so full of co opting of authority that it should be dumped in the trash. I hope the joint opposition. I cannot imagine the AG and Ashni having the authority to formulate lists of corrupt launderers when they are at the epicenter of the administration money laundering scheme. Ashni Luncheon and Jagdeo are the keystones of NICIL with Brazzington as their flunky. Imagine Ashni getting to say who is a launderer or not with no intervention of the legal system? The PPP can call for elections if it want. Let them do it.

when elephants fight who suffer, in this case is the guyanese people those minsters and MP is getting pay handsomely so they can have their little games. in some time and place the ARMY have to say enough 

Originally Posted by warrior:
Originally Posted by Danyael:
Originally Posted by Conscience:

The joint opposition are very cognizant, in the event of them passing a vote of no confidence, their razor thin "majority" would be lost. The PPP/C has fully recovered from incumbency fatigue.

There is no need for them to  call elections. The opposition is wise to prolong this so we see how much of the autocratic formulations they   can come up with. The anti laundering bill is so full of co opting of authority that it should be dumped in the trash. I hope the joint opposition veto this bill

 

I cannot imagine the AG and Ashni having the authority to formulate lists of corrupt launderers when they are at the epicenter of the administration money laundering scheme. Ashni Luncheon and Jagdeo are the keystones of NICIL with Brazzington as their flunky. Imagine Ashni getting to say who is a launderer or not with no intervention of the legal system? The PPP can call for elections if it want. Let them do it.

when elephants fight who suffer, in this case is the guyanese people those minsters and MP is getting pay handsomely so they can have their little games. in some time and place the ARMY have to say enough 

 

I cannot count on the army for moving crap. I do not care much for the combined opposition either since they are not decisive. I only hope that the PPP loses   more and are still in office so the people themselves see exactly what awful people they are. Maybe this is a lesson we need as a whole to grasp the benefit of accountable government.

Originally Posted by Billy Ram Balgobin:

Stop kidding yourself, D2. The opposition  is the biggest annoyance in Guyana today. People are blaming them for everything. Moses and Ramjattan can't show up  many places in the Guyana. They are afraid of the very people who voted for them.  

 

We all know the Guyanese people to be uttterly worthless due to their inebriated over-sexed state so whats new?

Originally Posted by Billy Ram Balgobin:

Stop kidding yourself, D2. The opposition  is the biggest annoyance in Guyana today. People are blaming them for everything. Moses and Ramjattan can't show up  many places in the Guyana. They are afraid of the very people who voted for them.  

Moses is a hero in ppp strong hold

Originally Posted by Billy Ram Balgobin:

Berbicians in NY and Toronto are cussing Moses and Ramjattan everyday. Dem people upset that these two chaps are now puppets of Granger who lauded the GDFs for killing Berbicians in the 1973 elections. Dem people are furious with these guys. 

you is the only berbicians that is cussing,because you run away from the mad house.

Parties come and Parties go.  Unfortunately, the titans seem to have nine lives. I had hopes that the AFC would play and effective role in parliament in making our gov't function more responsibly. However, all what they are doing is trying to take revenge on their former colleagues at the expense of the nation

Originally Posted by Billy Ram Balgobin:

Stop kidding yourself, D2. The opposition  is the biggest annoyance in Guyana today. People are blaming them for everything. Moses and Ramjattan can't show up  many places in the Guyana. They are afraid of the very people who voted for them.  

You mean all of those hungry belly PPites who are now our new Sybarites are not an annoyance to the People?

 

Do you think that disgusting Penguin Brazzington doing the bidding of Luncheon, Ashni and Jagdeo ( Jabba the Hutt does not even count) are not either? The PPP are disgusting crooks.

 

It takes but a little dusting to see how pernicious they are. Pradoville II is just a poke in the eye to the vast accumulation of wealth they are amassing overseas.

 

Moses was in Linden so I do not know what you are talking about.

 

 

 

 

Last edited by Former Member
Originally Posted by Billy Ram Balgobin:

Berbicians in NY and Toronto are cussing Moses and Ramjattan everyday. Dem people upset that these two chaps are now puppets of Granger who lauded the GDFs for killing Berbicians in the 1973 elections. Dem people are furious with these guys. 

 

Why do you dogs always insist on speaking for Berbicians? Many of us are educated enough to do that on our own.