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Apr 26, 2019

I.C.J. Referendum Legal Matters Still Pending

While the Government has set May eight as the new date for the I.C.J. referendum, there are several related cases pending before the courts. On Monday, the Chief Justice is expected to hear substantive arguments in a case brought by the People’s United Party which is challenging the validity of the 2008 Special Agreement. The Chief Justice is also scheduled to hear submissions by the government with respect to its application to have the interim injunction discharged.  Then, there is a related matter still pending before the Court of Appeal, an application brought by the Government which is appealing the I.C.J. injunction. Today, P.U.P. Chairman, Henry Charles Usher called out the Barrow Administration for circumventing the rule of law and moving forward with a referendum while the legal matters remain unresolved.


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Chairman, P.U.P.

“The issue of this referendum is still a legal matter in terms of what the government has done and the failures on the part of the government. Look at the irony of this, Hipolito that you have an injunction that still is in place, an injunction that has not been lifted and yet the Prime Minister requested a new date for the referendum, that new writs be issued. He requested that of the Governor General. The Governor General was requested to sign thirty one writs of referendum base on a new law, a flawed law when there is an injunction in place. Now on Monday the government is going to try to lift that injunction. Almost putting the cart before the horse. This should have never happened. When you operate when there is an injunction and you continue to behave as though there is nothing stopping you from going ahead with your plans you are operating in contempt of that injunction. In effect you are operating in contempt of court and the Prime Minister just went right ahead and did that, putting the Governor General in legal jeopardy. In effect, putting the Crown in legal jeopardy because the Governor General is the representative of the Crown. That is where we are as a nation. It has become totalitarian. It has become almost a dictatorship where they seem to operate as if though they above the law.”


Hipolito Novelo

“The government’s position on that matter is that the writ of referendum is date specific and so invalid now.”


Henry Charles Usher

“Look at the wording of the referendum. It does not say- sorry the wording of the injunction. The injunction does not say that you are prevented from having a referendum based on those writs. It says that you are prevented from having a referendum until this matter is resolved. The matter has not been resolved.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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