Legal challenge seeks to bar Ministers Felix, Scott to sit as MPs

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Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix
Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix

[www.inewsguyana.com] – People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) candidate, Desmond Morian has filed a motion in the High Court, challenging the parliamentary status of two government ministers on the basis that their names have not been extracted from the APNU+AFC’s list of candidates.

Morian is of the view that Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Keith Scott and Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix do not fit the criteria of becoming a Parliamentarian.

The document was filed by Morian’s lawyer, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall and names Attorney General Basil Williams and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland as the respondents.

Morian is seeking a declaration that Felix and Scott are not lawful members of the National Assembly and that an order be made preventing them from sitting in the Assembly unless their names are extracted from the coalition’s list.

During the first sitting of the National Assembly on June 10, the PPP had challenged the swearing in of Scott and Felix but the Party’s concerns were dismissed by Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs.

Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Keith Scott
Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Keith Scott

He said then that “A Perusal of the People’s Representation Act (Cap1:03), and in accordance with practice an elected member can be defined as a person whose name was extracted from the lists of candidates and declared by the Guyana Elections Commission to be a Member of Parliament.”

Isaac added that “it follows, therefore in my view that a person whose name is on the list and whose name was not extracted and declared by GECOM to be an elected Member, can become a non-elected Minister or a parliamentary secretary in accordance with Article 104 (3) of the constitution.

According to Isaacs, precedent for such to happen has already been set in the cases of the appointments of Ralph Ramkarran and Raphael Trotman as speakers for the ninth and tenth parliaments, respectively.

However, the PPP, in response to Isaacs says his advice is “clearly unsound, since as is known unextracted lists members are still recognized as elected members of the House and can be extracted and appointed as elected Members of Parliament at any time during the five (5) year term of the Parliament.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. If the coalition is playing on gimmics then they need to get it right immediately.
    The fact of this underlying issue in my humble view is the Government is top heavy with too many vice presidents and ministers. That said I would also love to see that mix to reflect our diversity and it is becoming elusive.
    I would apply for the job of advisor to the Prime Minister would that be a welcomed gesture?
    If Felix and Scott are not eligible let the court decide quickly the CJ should give this high priority and let the business of the country continue quickly.

  2. Why don’t these bugs just go away. Power is truely intoxicating these political delinquents refuse to accept the fact that a new day has come and their abuse of Guyana is over.

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