Longest serving clerk rubbishes 34 votes for majority argument

first_imgNo-confidence resolution – says Constitution does not support “new formula” being peddled Longest serving Clerk of the National Assembly, Frank Narain, has rubbished the notion being peddled by Government representatives that 34 votes was required to determine majority for the passage of the No-confidence Motion. Narain in an interview with Guyana Times on Friday said this notion is not supported anywhere in the Constitution of Guyana.Narain noted that in Guyana’s circumstance, there is nothing in the Constitution supporting arguments that out of 65 Members of Parliament, 34 is a majority. Narain added that it comes down to basic Mathematics.“I’m a simple man. And in my simplicity, I know that one more than half of the number is a majority. So, in all my life I accepted that in our present case of 65, 33 is a majority. The Constitution uses the word majority, only.”“It doesn’t describe that majority by any other word. It just says a majority of all the elected members. A majority is a simple majority… this is a simple matter in (any) layman opinion,” Narain added.Narain, who served as Clerk of the National Assembly from the 1960s until his retirement in 2002, questioned whether proponents of this alternate mathematical formula were just trying to stir up trouble.Since the passage of the motion on December 21, 2018, some observers have sought to question the motion’s validity even as the vote has already been certified, which cleared the path for elections to be held in three months’ time.The original proponent of the 34-vote argument is Attorney Nigel Hughes, a former Alliance For Change (AFC) member who told State media that half of 65 is 32.5 but when rounded to the nearest whole number this would be 33 as there is no half member.He had therefore suggested that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) needed 34 to secure majority. This argument has however been met with derision from several sections of society and legal experts.Giving his take on the matter, outspoken political commentator and lawyer Christopher Ram was at a loss as to why last Friday’s vote is being questioned, alluding that 33 out of 65 constitutes a majority.“What is a majority? A majority is the greater number or the greater part so if you’re saying 34 is the majority then what are saying that we have 66 members in the National Assembly or do you take away their seats? It defies logic and it defies law,” Ram had opined.Ram had also expressed his hope that the polls, due by March 19, 2019, would not be stalled.“Mr Nigel Hughes is reading words in the Constitution that are not there. The Constitution certainly does not say that; it says a majority… I am hoping that [the comments] are for academic excitement and not intended to stall any process or to create and sow confusion – that is my concern,” Ram had posited.In keeping with the Guyana Bar Association’s recent endorsement of the validity of the no-confidence vote, Ram said it must “absolutely” be accepted. The Association, headed by Attorney Kamal Ramkarran had said on Wednesday that to suggest that the recently passed No-confidence Motion was not validly passed is erroneous.The Bar Association had urged that “the results and consequences of the motion be accepted and that urgent preparations for elections by the Elections Commission be started,” in keeping with Article 106(6) of the Constitution.Even the current Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Issacs, has said that he would not be conducting a review of the vote. The Clerk had, in fact, issued a certificate validating the successful passage of the motion.last_img read more

Liverpool line-up v Man United: Injury concerns ahead of clash

first_img Liverpool face Man United in Miami Liverpool-Manchester United clashes are never friendly, so don’t expect their clash in the final of the International Champions Cup to be anything different.It may be a pre-season fixture, but the estimated 76,000 fans that will pack into Miami’s Sun Life stadium will expect to see something more akin to a Premier League match as these two rivals look to strike some sort of psychological blow with just two weeks until the start of the new campaign.Liverpool were the superior side last season, mounting a title challenge and recording a league double over their rivals.While Kop boss Brendan Rodgers will be wary of adding to his growing list of injury concerns, he will certainly be satisfied if his side can end their summer tour on a high.However, he will have to do it without Jon Flanagan who has flown back to Merseyside as he recovers from a knee injury, as well as Daniel Agger, Adam Lallana, Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge who have also returned home.Scroll down to see how the Redmen could line-up: 1 1 GoalkeeperSimon Mignolet will likely start in goal as he continues to regain match sharpness for the new season.DefenceWhile Rogers may opt to keep the same back four that started against AC Milan on Saturday, it seems more likely that he will at least start with a line-up that resembles a first choice side. Therefore expect Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson to come in, as they look for more game time, but don’t be surprised to see Martin Kelly and Jack Robinson feature at some point, as well as Mamadou Sakho.MidfieldJordan Henderson has been a frequent feature during pre-season, so expect to see him start, as could summer signing Emre Can. The German international has looked a good fit and Rodgers may opt to test him against more familiar opposition in the shape of Man United. However, Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard will surely be in line for minutes as well.AttackWith Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini absent and new signing Lazar Markovic expected to miss out with his own injury concerns, Rodgers has few options in attack.Philippe Coutinho will likely start in his withdrawn role, while Raheem Sterling will probably get the nod in attack.One player who has made a strong case for senior appearances this season has been Jordon Ibe, who has impressed in wide roles by Rodgers and he could get the nod to play alongside Rickie Lambert.Liverpool fans, how do you think you’ll line up? Comment below…last_img read more