Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George has ruled that Minister Oneidge Walrond is not a lawful member of the National Assembly and that her appointment as Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce was also in breach of the Constitution, given her dual status.

During a virtual hearing today, Attorney General Anil Nandlall admitted that Walrond’s appointment had collided with the Constitution. In rectifying this breach, the AG said that Walrond was resworn as Minister on December 1, 2020.

As a result, the CJ granted the declarations sought by Christopher Jones – a parliamentarian for the main opposition party – the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) coalition.

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, declared that Walrond “Isn’t” a lawful member of the National Assembly prior to December 1, 2020. She will be taking a new oath as a Member of Parliament at the next sitting.

She also declared that Walrond “wasn’t” lawfully appointed as a Minister of Government. To this end, the CJ awarded costs in the sum of $75,000 to the applicant.

Last month, Jones had moved to the High Court asking for Walrond’s appointment to be quashed based on dual-citizenship.

The issue of dual citizenship arose late last year when former coalition MP Charrandas Persaud, who also held second citizenship, crossed over and voted in favour of an Opposition-tabled No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the APNU/AFC Government, causing its defeat.

The validity of Persaud’s vote was challenged in the court by an APNU/AFC support, Compton Reid, and the High Court, whose ruling was subsequently upheld in the Appeal Court, found that while persons with dual citizenship cannot sit in the National Assembly, the former MP’s vote on the NCM was valid since he was a valid parliamentarian.


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