GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) — Guyana’s attorney general and minister of legal affairs, as a debate commenced on Wednesday evening on an opposition’s no-confidence motion in the National Assembly against Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, reiterated that only the president can remove Rohee from office and that Article 183 of the constitution states on what grounds such an official can be removed.
The attorney general said that he recognised that what transpired in Linden on July 18 last is a tragedy which is beyond disputation.
“The president, exercising powers which reside in him under the Commission of Inquiry Act, committed himself to the establishment of a commission to inquire into this tragedy… only the Commission of Inquiry could determine the home affairs minister responsible,” the attorney general said.
He explained that the motion in its entirety is one that pre-empts, prejudices and undermines the integrity of a process to which parties would have committed themselves, as the call is being made for Rohee to resign and for the members of the National Assembly to vote that they have no confidence in him.
“The legal truth of the matter is that Mr Rohee does not hold office due to the confidence of this Assembly… a minister is appointed under the constitution by the president… he comes here as an elected official… therefore, only the president can remove him,” Nandlall said.
He added that by making such a calling for the minister of home affairs to go, indicates that there is a conclusion that he is responsible, however that decision is to be made by the Commission of Inquiry.
“We can speak here in this parliament from now till thy kingdom come but, the fact remains that the National Assembly has no power of removal of a minister,” the attorney general stated.
President Donald Ramotar had announced that a full investigation will be launched into the fatal shooting of three Linden protestors and, during a meeting with the opposition, Region 10 chairman and the private sector, an agreement was reached to have a Commission of Inquiry investigate the July 18 events in the mining town.
“Article 183 of the constitution speaks to ministers and it says how ministers are to be removed from office — a minister having been appointed by the president cannot be removed by the National Assembly… the National Assembly has no power to remove Minister Rohee… the National Assembly has no power in law or under the constitution to remove Minister Rohee from office,” the legal affairs minister explained.
Further, Article 184 of the constitution is the only article within it that speaks about the no confidence of any official in the National Assembly, and that official is the leader of the opposition.