In a move they claim is aimed at upholding the principles of good governance, two members of the parliamentary opposition, Christopher Jones and Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, have taken legal action to address the prolonged absence of Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo from parliamentary sessions. However, the Vice President has rebutted, noting “that is for the Speaker (of the National Assembly) to decide”.

In a press statement released today, the duo announced that an application had been filed with the High Court by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) and Attorney-at-Law, Roysdale Forde SC on behalf of the opposition. The application focuses on the absence of Vice President Jagdeo from the National Assembly, citing constitutional provisions and parliamentary rules.

According to the statement, the Constitution of Guyana and the Standing Orders of the National Assembly specify that a member’s seat shall be vacated if they are absent from parliamentary sittings for more than six consecutive sessions within a specified period. The application alleges that Vice President Jagdeo was absent for 11 consecutive sittings from December 11, 2023, to February 1, 2024, falling within the specified timeframe.

The opposition’s application seeks several declarations from the Court, including declaration that Jagdeo has vacated his seat in the National Assembly due to his prolonged absence from parliamentary sessions, as per constitutional provisions and standing orders. Also, a declaration that Vice President Jagdeo has ceased to be a member of the Cabinet and, by extension, Vice President and Minister of the Government of Guyana, as a result of his absence from parliamentary sittings.

When asked about the court filing at his press conference today, Jagdeo did not directly address his absence, but claimed that the recent move by the opposition is due to them desperately wanting him out of office. “APNU really wants to get me out. APNU hates me with a passion,” he noted.


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