Resigning as MPs means giving up Ministerial posts – Former AG

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Former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall says it is inconceivable how four coalition members who resigned from the post of Members of Parliament can continue being Ministers of Government.

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 resignation of these persons as Members of Parliament will inexorably result in their loss of the ministerial portfolio to which they have been assigned,” Nandlall told the News Room in a telephone interview.

The MPs- Joseph Harmon, who holds the portfolio of Minister of State; Carl Greenidge, who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Rupert Roopnaraine, who is the Minister of Public Service, and Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin – have opted to resign over giving up their US and UK citizenship.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge have admitted they are dual citizens along with Minister of Public Service Rupert Roopnaraine and Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin

The High Court and the Court of Appeal recently ruled that those who hold dual citizenship are not qualified to be Parliamentarians.

The former AG explained that under the Constitution of Guyana, persons are extracted from the list placed in the National Assembly and then appointed Ministers.

“The reason being that every Minister so appointed must be answerable to the National Assembly and by extension, the people of Guyana for the discharge of their Ministerial duties,” he said.

He explained that they also cannot be Technocrat Ministers since those persons are appointed Ministers but not on the list of Candidates submitted to the Guyana Elections Commission before the last General and Regional elections.

Further, Nandlall said he “cannot conceive of a mechanism” which will allow the Coalition members to keep their Ministerial portfolios without being in Parliament.

The National Assembly is set to have its next meeting on April 11.

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