President David Granger this morning said that while he has accepted the resignation of four coalition government Members of Parliament — Carl Greenidge, Joseph Harmon, Dominic Gaskin and Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine — their resignations will not take effect immediately as there are several processes which have to be applied.
In a statement to the press, the Head of State made it clear that the replacement of Members of Parliament (MPs) can be done only when those MPs submit their letters of resignation to the Speaker of the National Assembly, as is prescribed by the Constitution of Guyana.
Article 156 (1) (A) of the Constitution states that “A member of the National Assembly shall vacate his or her seat therein – if he or she resigns it by writing under his or her own hand addressed to the Speaker or, if the Office of the Speaker if vacant or the Speaker is absent from Guyana, to the Deputy Speaker.”
Further, Article 156 (3) says a member of the National Assembly elected on a List shall cease to be a member of the Assembly, if:
1. He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the List from which his or her name was extracted that he or she will not support the List from which his or her name was extracted;
2. He or she declares in writing to the Speaker or to the Representative of the List from which his or her name was extracted, his or her support for another List;
3. The Representative of List from which his or her name was extracted indicates in writing to the Speaker that after meaningful consultation with the Party or Parties that make up the List that the Party or Parties have lost confidence in that member and the representative of the List issues a written notice of recall to that member and forwards a copy of that notice to the Speaker.
Additionally, Article 156 (4) (a) says, “The Speaker shall declare the seat of a Member of the National Assembly vacant where –
1. the Speaker receives a written declaration of the Member of the National Assembly as provided for in paragraph 3 (a) or (b);
2. the Representative of the List issues a notice of recall as provided for in paragraph 3 (c).
The President reminded that the nomination of new members can be done only after the extraction of names from the National Top-Up list is approved by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
As such, the four ministers, Mr. Carl Greenidge, Mr. Joseph Harmon, Mr. Dominic Gaskin and Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine will remain ministers until the aforementioned processes are completed.
The President, moreover, has not approved replacements at this time.
Yesterday, Government announced that the President received and accepted the resignation of all coalition MPs who are the holders of dual citizenship.
The resignation of the ministers is in keeping with the Constitution of Guyana as well as the March 22, 2019 ruling of the Court of Appeal relative to the validity of the no-confidence motion passed on December 21, 2018.
Meanwhile, the three A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Ministers of Government who have since resigned from the National Assembly, have indicated that they will renounce their foreign citizenship. The APNU Ministers a include Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge; Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Public Service Minister, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine.