Constitutional challengeThe Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is set to hear the Guyana Government’s appeal of the constitutional challenge to presidential term limits. According to information posted on the CCJ’s website, a hearing on the matter is scheduled to begin at 10:00h on March 12, and will be done via audio-visual recording.Former Speaker Raphael Trotman and Attorney General Basil Williams were the named respondents in the original constitutional challenge, which was filed by Georgetown resident Cedrick Richardson in the High Court. This court action, among other things, challenged the constitutionally of the National Assembly-sanctioned two-term limits on the Presidency.Guyana’s Court of Appeal ruled in February 2017 that the constitutional amendments by Parliament to limit the amount of times a person can serve as President were unconstitutional. During that February decision, then acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh, was supported by Justice of Appeal B.S. Roy in upholding then acting Chief Justice Ian Chang’s decision that the amendments were unconstitutional.The decision which the Appellate Justice upheld signalled that an amendment to the Constitution on presidential term limits, which was enacted when the National Assembly altered Article 90 via a two-thirds vote in 2000, needs a referendum to make a final decision.This enactment was recommended by an across-the-board Constitutional Reform Committee of 2000/2001. This Committee included both Government and Opposition input, and the reform received bipartisan support.Many observers contend that if the CCJ rules in favour of former CJ Chang’s original ruling, it would allow for former Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo to run on the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C’s) ticket at presidential candidate for the 2020 elections. Despite this scenario, the party is seemingly undecided on who will be their presidential candidate for next electionsJagdeo, who now serves as Opposition Leader, had in fact told the press that he is more interested in building his party’s base than being bothered by an ongoing court matter. Jagdeo declared: “When the right time comes, we will decide on a presidential candidate.”His comments followed speculation over his future, he having formerly served as President from 1999 to 2011, and having re-entered the field of active politics.Jagdeo has stressed that he is mostly concerned about ensuring that his party is victorious at the nation’s next polls. “I made it clear that the PPP is not decided on a presidential candidate for 2020.I’m General Secretary of the party, I took over in January last year after the congress, and my job as General Secretary is to work hard to transform the party, to widen its base, and prepare it to win the elections regardless of what position I serve in,” he noted.Attorney General Basil Williams had appealed the Appeal Court’s landmark ruling in February 2017 that declared that sovereignty resides in the people and not in the Parliament; and as such, certain fundamental clauses in the Constitution that serve to define its substantive nature can be altered only by a referendum of the people. AG Basil Williams and colleague Raphael Trotman challenged the ruling in the CCJ. The decision to refer the matter to the CCJ was presided over by acting Chancellor Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Appellate Judge Dawn Gregory and then High Court Judge Rishi Persaud.If that appeal is unsuccessful, then the voters of Guyana would have a choice of four classes of persons that were barred by Art 17 of 2001. These classes are: (A) only a citizen by birth or of parentage can qualify to be the President; (B) a person must be residing in Guyana on the date of nomination for election, (C) a person must have been a resident for seven years immediately before that date, and (D) Citizens of Guyana who have served for two terms as President.Last elections, back in 2015, saw former President Donald Ramotar serving as the PPP’s presidential candidate, while his running mate was Diplomat Elisabeth Harper, who served as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
However, discounts still brought in early morning shoppers. “I’m trying to spend a little bit less because money is definitely a little tighter, but I like to get people what I think they’ll enjoy so I’ll probably end up spending as much anyway,” Kristina Morrison told NBC4 as she shopped at a Lakewood Target store. Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the Christmas season. That distinction goes to the Saturday before Christmas, when procrastinators finally turn out to buy last-minute gifts. The day after Thanksgiving earned the designation Black Friday because it helps retailers go into the black, the accounting term for profit. The frenzy surrounding Black Friday has prompted the Vancouver, British Columbia-based anti-consumerist group, the Adbusters Media Foundation, to declare today “Buy Nothing Day.” The self-described United Elves Guild of Greater Los Angeles will picket near the Farmer’s Market and The Grove on 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue to both promote “Buy Nothing Day” and the new anti-shopping documentary, “What Would Jesus Buy?” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsBusiness on Black Friday was a bit slower this year, said Jackie Fernandez, a retail partner with Deloitte & Touche, a international consulting firm which tracks holiday sales. A 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent sales increase is expected this year, compared to a 6 percent increase last year, Fernandez said. “Last year was very robust, this year it’s low, it’s not as crowded as it was last year,” she said. The sales increase will be the smallest since 2002, according to the Washington-based National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail association. The smaller increase is a result of the downturn in the real estate market, near-record gasoline prices and the recent Southern California wildfires, Fernandez said. Amid predictions of a smaller increase in sales than a year ago, shoppers rushed to Southland malls and stores today, taking advantage of discounts and incentives on what has been dubbed Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season. “We had hundreds of people lined up,” said Janet LaFevre of the Glendale Galleria, where some stores opened at midnight. “It was a very festive mood. We had a singing Santa entertaining people and retailers brought out their A game for the holiday season this year.” Aeropostale, which opened at midnight, offered discounts of 50 percent until 11 a.m. Mervyns enticed early customers with $10 gift cards for the first 250 people in the store and a $10 reward card for every $50 spent between now and Sunday. Up to 10 percent of all shopping purchases is said to occur over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.