National Assembly died on September 18, 2019

first_imgDear Editor,The life of the National Assembly ended on September 18, 2019, as a result of the non-extension of its life by a two-thirds vote as required by the Constitution for such extended period as determined by the National Assembly.Given the passage of the no-confidence vote in the Government on December 21, 2018, notwithstanding the frivolous appeal challenges in court on the validity of the no-confidence vote, the no-confidence vote was affirmed by the Chief Justice in the High Court earlier, and by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on June 18, 2019, when the 90-day clock started to tick again for the life of the Government until September 18, 2019. These 90 days between June 18 and September 18, 2019, provided more than adequate time for President Granger and the Leader of the Opposition to confer in good faith consultations and negotiate a mutually agreed solution to avoid this constitutional crisis in the national interest.There was no constitutional extension by September 18, 2019. As a consequence, the National Assembly, the Cabinet, Offices of the Speaker and Leader of the Opposition are constitutionally dead and cannot be resurrected. The survivor is the caretaker President to proclaim a date for election and dissolve the National Assembly, but since the National Assembly is dead, there is no need for any dissolution. The constitutionally dead National Assembly cannot be called and convened into session on October 10, 2019The 90 days also between June 18 and September 18, 2019, was a reasonable constitutional time limit for GECOM to conduct the elections. In fact, the notice for elections was given since December 21, 2018, when the No-Confidence Motion was passed by the National Assembly.We now have to endure the shame of this constitutional crisis until free and fair elections are held and a new Government is elected, and this should be before December 21, 2019.Yours faithfully,Joshua Singhlast_img

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