June 15, 2021

Guyana Guardian

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Opposition files Court action challenging “unlawful” appointment of two Parliamentary Secretaries


The APNU+AFC through its Chief Whip in Parliament Christopher Jones, has moved to the Courts to challenge the appointments of Vikash Ramkissoon and Sarah Browne as Parliamentary Secretaries and non-elected Members of the National Assembly.

Ramkissoon took the oath as Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture while Browne is serving as Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.

It has been found that the two Parliamentary Secretaries both served as candidates on the PPP’s list of candidates at the last elections and therefore cannot serve in the role of Parliamentary Secretaries as non-elected members.

APNU+AFC Member of Parliament and Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde explained that the Constitution is clear on the issue. He said by the two persons serving as candidates in the elections, that would make them elected members. He said the President’s appointment would have to be for non-elected members.

Opposition Chief Whip Christopher Jones and Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde

Mr. Forde reminded of the case that was brought against the former APNU+AFC government over the appointment of two Minsters as non-elected Members of the National Assembly.

In the ruling on that case, both the High Court and the Court of Appeal found that the two Ministers could not sit in the Assembly as non-elected Members since they were both on their party’s list of candidates.

Mr. Forde said it is a similar situation that exists now.

The APNU+AFC wants the Court to issue an order directing the Speaker of the National Assembly to prevent Browne and Ramkissoon from sitting in the Assembly as Parliamentary Secretaries since they would both be doing so unlawfully.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, the Attorney General and the two parliamentary secretaries have been named as Respondents in the matter.

The case is likely to come up for hearing early in the new year.

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