-President Granger to determine their future positions
Four senior ministers in the Coalition Government have resigned their Parliamentary seats.
The four- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vice President Carl Greenidge; Minister of State, Joseph Harmon; Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin and Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, who has responsibilities for public service–by virtue of the resignations can no longer sit as ministers in the Cabinet.
The government statements would come hours after an exclusive story carried in Kaieteur News yesterday confirming that Gaskin
had resigned his MP position, after declining to relinquish his citizenship of the United Kingdom. He was born there.
Gaskin is from the Alliance For Change, the smaller faction of the Governing Coalition.
Greenidge and Roopnaraine also have dual citizenship with the UK while Harmon with the US.
They are all among some of the more powerful ministers in the Coalition Government.
The resignations would stem from court rulings that reinforced the Constitution of Guyana which bars persons with dual citizenship from sitting in Parliament.
An initial High Court ruling earlier this year on the legality of a no-confidence vote against the Government that was carried in December had also ruled that persons without dual citizenship cannot sit in the National Assembly by virtue of the fact they would swear allegiance to another c
Recently, the Court of Appeal upheld the illegality of persons sitting there and holding dual citizenship.
The Government is appealing the dual citizenship ruling in the CCJ.
Leader of the AFC, Minister Raphael Trotman, in a taped message yesterday, explained yesterday that it was the intent of
President David Granger and Cabinet after extensive discussions that they would respect the ruling of the courts- both the High Court and Court of Appeal.
He said that the decisions were expected of Government.
“…And so today’s announcement was really an announcement of a decision that had been taken some time before. I believe that the Guyane
se people must rest assured that the Government will do what is right under the law and respect the powers of all the courts- from the Magistrates’ Court all the way to the CCJ.”
According to Trotman, the current Minister of Natural Resources, the President is the gatekeeper and he distributes and delegates the portfolios of ministers as per the Constitution and as per the agreement under the Cummingsburg Accord.
That accord is the one between the coalition partners that dictates how power would be shared.
Trotman explained that in the past, Cabinet ministers who were absent from meetings because of ill-health or being out of the country, would have other ministers who perform their functions.
Trotman said that the people must recognize the “yeoman efforts” of the four ministers who have resigned “not from Government but from
They will continue to function in other areas with President Granger to address the situation and their future later on.
He stressed that the ministers are not gone altogether; they are only resigning from the National Assembly.
Trotman explained that as a consequence of not being ministers, the four cannot be members of the Cabinet.
Trotman assured that Government remains in “capable” hands and that President David Granger who is in Cuba taking cancer treatments, is still the president.
In the meantime, the Government proceeds and Cabinet continues to meet and do the business of the people, he said.
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