The recent ruling by outgoing acting Chief Justice (CJ) Ian Chang that Citizenship Minister Winston Felix and Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection with responsibility for labour Keith Scott cannot sit in the National Assembly as technocrats is much welcomed by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
According to General Secretary of the PPP, Clement Rohee, this ruling is consistent with the laws of Guyana since the duo cannot sit in the National Assembly as unelected members or technocrats as a result of their names not being extracted from APNU+AFC Top-Up List of Candidates.
Rohee said it is a vindication of the Party’s view that the seating of the two Ministers of the APNU+AFC is an “electoral travesty” and in violation of the Constitution and Representation of the People’s Act.
“The Party recalls that this ruling by the Court joins other previous rulings by the Court to give guidance to the Parliament on Constitutional matters. On all previous occasions, it was because of the obstructive and nuisance value behaviour of the APNU+AFC that the Court was called upon to rule on these contentious matters sparked by the APNU+AFC’s ‘unruly horse’ in the National Assembly,” the General Secretary stated.
He noted that it is to be recalled that State Minister Joseph Harmon had “dared” former Attorney General Anil Nandlall “to do what he does best” and to move to the Courts to have the two APNU+AFC trespassers removed from sitting in the National Assembly.
“Moreover it is to be recalled that Basil Williams, the current Attorney General had, at the preliminary stages, worked overtime at filibustering with a view to delaying and not having the case heard on the grounds that the PPP’s claim was ‘erroneous’ and should instead be challenged by way of an Election Petition. Further, it is to be recalled that the PPP had called out to the Clerk of the National Assembly alerting and advising him of the unconstitutional nature of the decision by the APNU+AFC but to no avail,” Rohee explained.
As such the PPP feels vindicated that the Court has upheld the “legitimacy and correctness in law” of its position on the matter.
Rohee also noted that it is expected that the Speaker of the National Assembly will take guidance from the Court’s ruling on the matter and have the APNU+AFC be guided accordingly to have the two Ministerial “squatters” removed from the National Assembly.