This story is developing and will be updated.

Chief Justice Roxane George this afternoon ruled that 33 is the majority for the purposes of  carrying a vote of no-confidence in Parliament.

The judge’s ruling was a major setback to the APNU+AFC’s hope of reversing the 33 to 32 vote which saw its government collapse on December 21, 2018.

After having earlier upheld the disputed vote of Charrandass Persaud, the judge said that 33 was the majority. Through its lawyers the government had argued that the majority should be an absolute one and in this case it should be 34, an argument that had been pilloried in many circles.

The judge today said that the court considered what is a majority of all elected members and in Guyana’s case the majority would be at least 33.

“At least 33 votes must always be obtained regardless of the voters present”, she said.

Attorney General Basil Williams then asked the court for a stay and a conservatory order to preserve the status quo. The judge refused this and advised him to take the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Chief Justice Roxane George

A 90-day clock has been ticking since the December 21 vote for the holding of general elections. To date the government has not recognized this neither has the Guyana Elections Commission shown any sign of observing it.

Today’s ruling by the judge will further weaken the government’s challenge to the validity of the motion of no confidence.