Did MNAs know they were dissolving Assembly?


31-August-2011

Judges Niranjit Burhan and Gustave Dodin said they will give their judgment on the matter on September 5 after hearing the petitioner’s lawyer Bernard Georges argue before their court that the words used to present the motion were ambiguous.

Attorney general Rony Govinden, who represented the National Assembly’s speaker Dr Patrick Herminie, however argued it was obvious why the MNAs were meeting, and said he expects the court to rule that – as far as the wording of the motion was concerned – the dissolution was done correctly.

“On July 19 when the MNA came to the Assembly they all knew there was a motion to dissolve it on the basis of what the Constitutional Court recommended. There was no confusion in any one of them what they were there for. There was no ambiguity regarding what the business of the day was,” said Mr Govinden.

“The case is just a play on one or two words and has no substance so I believe the court will rule in our favour.”

Mr Georges said: “My argument is quite simple – what was on the Order paper as a motion was not what the members voted on.

“On the Order paper was a motion which (leader of government business in the Assembly) Marie-Louise Potter put forward saying: ‘I move that the Assembly be dissolved’ yet what the MNAs voted on was ‘The Assembly is dissolved’.

“You cannot bring one motion before the Assembly and vote on a different one,” said Mr Georges, adding he has never “in his 32 years as an advocate” speculated what a court is likely to decide, but said he hopes it will accept his argument which he said is quite simple.

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