Feb 23, 2016 News
During yesterday’s session in the National Assembly, the seats of technocrat Members of Parliament Winston Felix and Keith Scott were conspicuously vacant. Due to a decision handed down by outgoing Chief justice
Ian Chang in the High Court, both Ministers have been forced to forsake their seats.
House Speaker, Dr. Barton Scotland yesterday formally informed the House that Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, and Junior Minister of Social Protection, Keith Scott, would not be occupying their seats and that he and others must “unequivocally, respect the decisions of a Court.”
“Whatever views may exist in relation to a decision of the Court at any time, the first obligation is to obey those decisions, and then proceed from there.” The Speaker added that he was not served with a Court Order, but is working with the decision of the High Court.
Dr. Scotland added that he had received a copy of the ruling from People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) frontbencher, Anil Nandlall, and has also seen the reports in the media.
The Government side has not given up on the matter, however. Attorney General, Basil Williams said the Coalition Government would always abide by the rule of law, but at the same time he said that the decision would be appealed through a filing to have the recent ruling “discharged and set aside.”
“We will uphold the rule of law,” he said. “But we shall ensure that we leave no stone unturned to restore our brothers Scott and Felix to their rightful places in this honourable House.”
Outgoing Chief Justice, (Ag) Ian Chang, had risen from his pre-retirement leave to declare in a ruling on Friday that Felix and Scott by virtue of their status as elected members of the National Assembly cannot sit in Parliament as Technocrat Ministers.
The PPP had objected to the appointment of Scott and Felix as Technocrat Members (expert or skilled in their field) of the National Assembly following last year’s General and Regional Elections.
The party, in a statement, had contended that “Articles 103 (3) and 105 of the Constitution and Laws pronouncing on the eligibility of appointment of Technocratic Ministers, do not confer Technocratic status on these persons already sworn in by President David Granger as Ministers.”
The matter was subsequently filed by PPP affiliate, Desmond Morian, questioning the appointment of APNU+AFC members Felix and Scott to Parliament as Technocrat Ministers.
The application cited Articles 60, 103, 105, 160 and 232 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Chapter 1:01.
He had contended that the names of the two Ministers were not extracted from the coalition’s list of candidates; hence they did not fit the criteria for the positions.
Morian essentially sought a declaration from the court barring the two members of Government from sitting in the National Assembly as Technocrat Ministers.
The applicant was represented by Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall. Attorney General, (AG) Basil Williams and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, were named as respondents.
In the 15-page ruling on Friday, Chang outlined that the Court sees it fit to grant Morian the application on the basis that Felix and Scott are elected members of the National Assembly but despite that status, they do not hold seats and cannot sit in Parliament as Technocrat Ministers since their names were not extracted from the APNU /AFC list of successful candidates.
The CJ had also noted that despite their appointment by President David Granger to be executive members of the Government, such an executive appointment does not entitle Felix and Scott to hold seats or sit as Technocrat Ministers.
Aug 03, 2021Kaieteur News – ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced the players for the Rising Stars U19 High Performance Camp in Antigua. The camp has been designed to help lift...
Aug 03, 2021
Aug 03, 2021
Aug 02, 2021
Aug 02, 2021
Aug 02, 2021
Kaieteur News – It was the leading light of the 1918 Russian revolution, Vladimir Lenin, who observed that power is... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]