Aug 04, 2020 News
The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and The New Movement (TNM) are expected to convene today with the aims of finalizing the allocation of the one parliamentary seat gained by the parties. Presidential candidates of LJP and TNM confirmed this meeting with Kaieteur News last evening.
Earlier this year, the three parties had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which they joined their lists to compete in the March 2, General and Regional Elections. Under Section 22 of the Representation of the People Act (RoPA), the combined votes they received were calculated and went towards the allocation of a single seat in the National Assembly. The three parties had collectively gained 5,124 votes.
The signed MoU details the guidelines for the joinder’s actions in the National Assembly. It stated that after the elections are held and the official results are declared, the parties will calculate the number of seats to the National Assembly earned by each party in relation to the votes obtained by each party. Any party or parties which has earned sufficient votes so as to be entitled to seats in the National Assembly based on the votes obtained in the elections will nominate the members of parliament for the number of seats to which it is entitled in a procedure to be determined by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
The document further states that where the leftover votes of each party cumulatively entitle the combination of parties to one or more additional seats, the seat or seats will be shared by the parties in proportion to the leftover votes contributed by that party toward the additional seat or seats as follows:
The party with the largest number of leftover votes would be entitled to nominate the first member of the National Assembly who shall serve the length of time that is derived from the proportion of votes.
The parties with the second and the third largest number of votes will be entitled to nominate the second and third members of the National Assembly in accordance with the principle set out.
Based on the breakdown of votes, the LJP which acquired 2,657 votes in the elections, would sit in parliament for a period of 30 and a half months. The ANUG, which gained 2,313 votes would sit in parliament for 26 and a half months. Meanwhile, TNM, which acquired 244 votes would sit in parliament for three months. It should be considered, however, that Parliament goes into an annual two or three month recess.
According to the MOU, each member of the National Assembly who is appointed by one of the parties, pursuant to the leftover votes obtained by the three parties, will resign as a member of the National Assembly at the time determined by the combination of parties immediately before the convening of the National Assembly. However, there is no clear mechanism in either the MoU or legislation on enforcement of this aspect should the party which holds the seat refuse to relinquish it when the time for the next party to assume.
The MoU went on to explain that the parties undertake that in respect of the seat or seats shared among them by leftover votes, the occupant of that seat shall vote in Parliament only with the approval of all three parties and otherwise shall abstain from voting.
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