By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The opposition coalition -A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – is still looking for a replacement in the National Assembly, following the resignation of its member, Jaipaul Sharma on Thursday, April 4.
When contacted, APNU’s Executive Member Joseph Harmon told iNews (www.inewsguyana.com) that the Party will have to extract a name from the registered list which was submitted to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) during the 2011 General Elections.
“I can say who will be the replacement but what I know is that it will have to be selected from that list, we can just go and pick a person that are steps that must be followed.”
Harmon could not say who the most eligible person is to replace Sharma; however he noted that the replacement will have to be done as soon as possible.
iNews (www.inewsguyana.com) has learnt that the coalition is more likely to favor a member from its main party – Peoples’ National Congress (PNC), to replace Sharma.
Sharma represented the JFAP party in the House. He along with Geoffrey Sankies were identified as the as the party’s representatives in 2011.
The combined opposition holds a one seat majority in the National Assembly and will be looking to have Sharma replaced soon so as to ensure its dominance ahead of the consideration of the estimates of the
National 2014 Budget which begins next week.
Sharma resigned following a heckling incident in the House on Tuesday, April 01.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand had heckled “ask the APNU member Sharma” while MP Volda Lawrence was addressing the issue of rape in the society during her very emotive presentation.
Manickchand refused to issue an apology. Sharma told reporters it was a decision he took after considering the matter carefully and believes the PPP will use the matter to cause the APNU to lose votes.
“I don’t want to be the individual to cause the APNU to lose votes,” Sharma said as he noted that there was a possibility that the ruling PPP may call snap elections, adding that “I don’t want to be a political football.”
He said he believes he did the right thing and made it clear that it was solely because of Tuesday’s incident that he has resigned.
Notwithstanding the refusal to issue an apology, Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman has lifted the ban he placed on Manickchand to participate in the budget debates 2014.
Opposition Leader David Granger had said that he was going to discuss the matter with Sharma with the hope of having him reverse his decision.