THE CONSEQENCES OF HOLDING OFFICE ILLEGALLY


The statement issued by the Bar Council of the Guyana Bar Association during last week quoted a dictum of the Chief Justice (ag) in the case of Attorney General of Guyana v Dr. Barton Scotland, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo and Mr. Joseph Harmonas follows: “I hold that the NCM [no confidence motion] was carried as the requisite majority was obtained by a vote of 33:32. The President and the Ministers cannot therefore remain in Government beyond the three months within which elections are required to be held in accordance with art 106(7), unless that time is enlarged by the National Assembly in accordance with the requirements of the said art 106(7). 

President Granger responded at a political rally at Vreed-en-Hoop, that he remains President until a new president is sworn in. The President made no reference to elections. Minister Harmon clarified on Friday afternoon that a date will be fixed for elections when the court cases are completed. He gave no indication that the March 21 deadline for the Government to remain in office will be adhered to. It therefore appears that the Government intends to remain in office, even after March 21, if the cases are not over, which is very likely. After March 21, the Government will be illegal. It will not be entitled to hold office, not entitled to make decisions, not entitled to enter contracts, not entitled to convene the National Assembly, not entitled to pass laws and not entitled to fix a date for elections.

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THE DEFENCE OF GUYANA’S SOVEREIGNTY.


Contempt such as Ambassador Hardt is accused of in relation to the Head of State is a serious matter. In 1631, in one of the earliest reported cases of contempt, a prisoner, condemned for felony, threw a brick at the judge that narrowly missed. An indictment was there and then drawn against him, immediately upon which his right hand was cut off and fixed to the gallows. He was then taken and hanged in the presence of the Court.  (‘The Due Process of Law’ by Lord Denning p. 5, courtesy of Mr. Siand Durjohn, in-service law student at Cameron & Shepherd).

Ambassador Hardt should therefore consider himself very lucky to get away with only what Dr. Luncheon described as a ‘feral blast’ by a ‘warrior.’ Feral indeed! As for being a ‘warrior,’ the United States itself may soon be in jeopardy with the number of warriors, the President included, in and around the Guyana Cabinet. Maybe we can live without the United States, but what if Guyana’s warriors declare war on all of its tormentors at the same time – the US, Canada, UK and the whole of Europe?

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