PRESS RELEASE People's National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. September 5, 2006



PNCR Leader, Mr. Robert Corbin, has drawn to President Jagdeo’s attention a possible breach of Article 69 of the Constitution with respect to convening the Ninth Parliament and has asked to be advised on the steps the President proposes to take to deal with the situation.

Article 69 states:
“Each session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Guyana and shall begin at such time (not being later than six months from the end of the preceding session if Parliament has been prorogued or four months from the end of that session if Parliament has been dissolved) as the President shall appoint by proclamation.”

That date has passed.

In his letter to President Jagdeo dated September 4, 2006, Mr. Corbin stated that he was unclear on what basis the President proposes to summon a new Parliament. He reminded President Jagdeo that when the Government purported to amend Article 61, he had advised that to do so without amending Article 69 would be unconstitutional and may lead to a subsequent Constitutional breach.

In the Parliamentary debate on May 2, 2006, the PPP abandoned discussion with the PNCR and unilaterally amended Article 61 extending by one month the time for holding of elections after dissolution of Parliament. In that debate Mr. Corbin moved an amendment that Article 69 of the Constitution should be altered to permit one month to elapse between the date of an election and the First Sitting of the National Assembly. It is in this context that the PNCR Leader and representative of the PNCR-1G List of Candidates has asked the President to advised on how he proposes to deal with the present Constitutional issue. The PPP, however, rejected that amendment.

It is significant that the AFC Prime Ministerial Candidate, Mr. Kemraj Ramjattan, supported the PPP’s amendment of Article 61 in Parliament and the AFC executive, Ms. Sheila Holder was silent on the matter.

President Jagdeo and Mr. Corbin are expected to meet today at 1:00 pm to discuss this and other matters.

Attached to this Press Release is the letter dated September 4, 2006 which Mr. Corbin dispatched to President Jagdeo.


People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
August 24, 2006



September 4, 2006

His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo
President of the Republic of Guyana
Office of the President
New Garden Street
Georgetown



I wish to draw your attention to a possible breach of Article 69 of the Constitution with respect to convening the Ninth Parliament and to be advised on the steps you propose to deal with this situation.

Article 69 of the Constitution states:
“Each session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Guyana and shall begin at such time (not being later than six months from the end of the preceding session if Parliament has been prorogued or four months from the end of that session if Parliament has been dissolved) as the President shall appoint by proclamation.”

Parliament was dissolved on the 2nd Day of May, 2006 thus making it mandatory for the Parliament to be reconvened by September 2, 2006. That date has passed. Consequently, I am unclear on what basis you propose to summon a new Parliament.

Earlier this year when the Government purported to amend Article 61, I advised that to do so without amending Article 69 would be unconstitutional and may lead to subsequent Constitutional breach. In the Parliamentary debate on 2nd May, 2006 which followed the abandonment of discussions with the PNCR by your then administration, your government proceeded to unilaterally amend Article 61, extending by one month the time for holding of elections after dissolution of Parliament.

During the debate, I moved an amendment to the Bill urging as follows:

“(2) Paragraph (1) shall have no effect until Article 69 of the Constitution is altered to permit one month to elapse between the date of an election of members of the National Assembly and the first Sitting of the National Assembly.”

That amendment was also rejected.

I wish to be advised on how you propose to proceed.


Yours sincerely


…………………………….
Robert H.O Corbin
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform
Representative, PNCR-1G List of Candidates