I agree with AG Williams on this score

Dear Editor,

In my opinion the English language in which the Guyana constitution is written should be examined for its practices. The common word order for the conveyance of information is who, what, how, where, when and why. E.g., “The lawyer presented his brief effectively in court yesterday to please his clients.”

The who is ‘The lawyer’, the what is ‘presented his brief’, the how is ‘effectively’, the where is ‘in court’, the when is ‘yesterday’, and the why is ‘to please his clients’.

By far not all sentences contain all the characteristics in the example; and departures from the order are often made to enable stress. This common order of information may be stretched out over paragraphs.

 Article 106 (6) of the Constitution provides that “the Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of no confidence.”

The who is the Cabinet. The what is the resignation. And the why is the vote of no confidence (NCV) because the conditional ‘if’ is causative, not temporal, even though it is based on an event. It is the NCV event that causes the resignation.

 Article 106(7) declares, “… , and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following an election.”

This section (7) of article 106 provides the when of the what (the resignation): after the President takes the oath of office following an election. It accompanies other information in 106(7) so it has been placed in in its own paragraph to cap the other possibilities outlined in (7).

 Therefore I agree with Hon. A-G Williams on this score. I remain opposed to holding the laws of arithmetic to make 34 out of 65 the minimum majority, an error any student taking in good Guyanese education must abhor and be ashamed of asking Courts to decide on it.

Yours faithfully,

Alfred Bhulai

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