Resigned MPs to remain in Gov’t; sitting Ministers to take up portfolios
A statement late Tuesday from the Government clarified that the coalition members who resigned as Parliamentarians also resigned as Government Ministers and in the interim, the portfolios of Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Business and Public Service would now be held by sitting members of Cabinet who previously acted for these ministers on leave or out of the jurisdiction.
According to the Government, while it is conceded that the Constitution strictly bars a person who holds dual citizenship from being a Parliamentarian, they are not precluded from remaining in government service.
“This is a matter to be addressed by the President who will finalize ways in which the four resigned Parliamentarians will serve in government,” the statement explained.
According to article 183 of the Constitution, “the office of any Minister shall become vacant if that person ceases to be a member of the National Assembly for any cause other than the dissolution of Parliament.”
The statement further noted that Cabinet is also looking forward to names being extracted from the APNU+AFC Coalition list of candidates to fill the vacancies of the resigned Parliamentarians.
The High Court and the Court of Appeal recently ruled that those who hold dual citizenship are not qualified to be Parliamentarians.
On the Government side, Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge have admitted they are dual citizens along with Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin and Minister of Public Service Rupert Roopnaraine.
President Granger accepted their resignations, the Government announced Tuesday.
Minister Harmon is a US citizen, while Ministers Gaskin, Greenidge and Roopnaraine are UK citizens.