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– even if Opposition refuses to attend Parliament next monthPresident David Granger has formally announced and confirmed that elections will be held in Guyana on March 2, 2020 whether or not the Opposition party returns to Parliament to extend the life of the APNU/AFC coalition government.President David GrangerMuch criticism came following his declaration on Wednesday of March 2, 2020 being the “earliest possible” elections date in the country, with several sections of society in an uproar that the President’s statement did not give a definitive date for elections.However, the Head of State told reporters on Thursday that the choice of words in his broadcast on Wednesday was “conditional”.“Elections will be held on March 2, that was the advice I received. I did not want to use a perhaps more definitive term because I expected that in terms of the Constitution, we would have to go to Parliament. If the Opposition does not go to Parliament well, we will abide with what I said last night, elections will be held on March 2… that is as definitive as I can get”.During his address to the nation on Wednesday, the President pointed out that he met with the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Retired Justice Claudette Singh, about the plans for the electoral process and was notified that GECOM has a work schedule that it will be following.“These schedules have to be designed and approved by the Commission itself and I expect that once the Commission has given that final approval, the other requirements would be met. That is to say, we have Claims and Objections, we have to have nominations. There are certain statutory requirements in the preparation for elections, so I was quite guarded in my remarks but I was giving the Commission the opportunity to publicise its own work schedule. It is not my duty and my intention to micromanage the process or to say things, which the Commission could implement, but what I said last night (Wednesday) was quite accurate, that both the Commission and the Cabinet have considered the information that is available and elections will be held on March 2nd, 2020,” President Granger added.In June, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that the No-Confidence Motion against the coalition government was validly passed in the National Assembly on the evening of December 21, 2019.According to the CCJ, the Constitution of Guyana clearly states that the Government must resign when it loses to a No-Confidence Motion.Handing down the decision was CCJ President Justice Adrian Justice Saunders, who read a summary of the final judgement. Justice Saunders said that the Court found that 33, and not 34 as the Government and supporters have argued, was the majority the Opposition needed out of 65 Members of Parliament (MPs) to pass the motion.“The CCJ decided that the requirement for “a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly”, referred to a majority of the total number of votes or seats in the Assembly, irrespective of the number of members who actually vote”.In determining that majority, he added, the Court was of the opinion that the “half plus one rule was not applicable”. Justice Saunders informed the courtroom and viewing public that the majority was clearly at least 33 votes.The CCJ also rejected arguments that former Alliance for Change (AFC) MP Charrandas Persaud was constrained from voting against his list, a major plank of the State’s case. Justice Saunders noted that nothing in the Constitution prevents a crossover vote and as such, his vote was and still is valid. The No-Confidence Motion, the CCJ decided, was validly passed.Meanwhile, Justice Saunders informed that CCJ Judge Maureen Ragnauth-Lee had made the observation in her concurring judgement that the Constitution has to be clear regarding Persaud being prevented from voting against his list. She did not believe, as the Government argued, that such a provision was implicit.On the matter of Persaud’s dual citizenship, Justice Saunders noted that the Court had decided that had the Government really wanted Persaud out of the National Assembly on those grounds, it would have challenged his presence on the candidate list and eligibility to enter the National Assembly long before the vote – in fact, within a month of the coalition’s victory in 2015.