Harmon dispels rumours he can be removed as Opp. Leader if not elected PNC Leader
--says will stay put until next general elections
With battle lines drawn in the race for the next leader of the main opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon is yet again reminding the public that should he fail to be elected to the top post, he will continue to serve in his present constitutional position.
Harmon was making a guest appearance on Benschop Radio – 107.1FM – and claimed to be responding to a rumour that if he is not elected leader of the party, he can be removed as Opposition leader.
“I am the current Leader of the Opposition in Guyana but there is some rumour going around that if someone else wins they can remove me.”
Harmon said the rumour is false and he can only be removed at the next general elections, expected in 2025.
“The Constitution is very clear about that. I can only be removed at the next elections of the country.
“I can’t be removed any other way,” he said.
But that is not the case according to the country’s laws; Article 184 (3) of the Constitution speaks about the removal of the Leader of the Opposition.
It instructs that the removal of the Opposition Leader is effected when one-third of the non-governmental members of the National Assembly inform the Speaker that the Opposition Leader no longer enjoys their confidence.
The Speaker is expected to call a meeting of all non-governmental members where it shall be decided whether the Opposition Leader shall be removed from office. That Article further notes that the removal shall be effected by the votes of a majority of all of the non-governmental members.
Harmon, at the launch of his campaign, had said repeatedly that he should be the next Leader because he already holds the constitutional position of Opposition Leader.
On November 12, contender for the post of party leader, Aubrey Norton, told the News Room that he does not challenge Harmon’s reasoning that the Party Leader must also be Opposition Leader but said if that is the case, then he is also in line to become Opposition Leader.
Harmon has already said that even if he does not win, he will not give up the position of Opposition Leader but will work with the next leader at the party level.
Harmon recalled the history of the PNC/R where past Party Leaders always held the post of Presidential Candidate, Opposition Leader and President in and out of government.