Shuman likely to vacate MP seat next year

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Deputy Speaker Lenox Shuman will be replaced as a Member of the National Assembly in the coming months as part of a prior agreement to rotate the seat from a joiner list of political parties that contested the March 2020 general and regional elections.

Shuman is also the Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), one of the new parties that participated in the elections; the other parties include A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and The New Movement (TNM).

The News Room was reliably informed that by February 2023, Shuman will vacate his seat and while discussions are still ongoing among the parties, Dr. Asha Kissoon – leader of The New Movement – has been tipped to be the replacement.

However, Shuman’s deputy speaker position will not automatically go to her. There will likely be new elections among Members of Parliament for a Deputy Speaker when both the governing and opposition parties are likely to field nominees.

The LJP after garnering 2, 657 votes at the general and regional elections had joined its list with ANUG and TNM.

The three parties together won 5,214 votes to give them one seat in the National Assembly.

Following behind LJP was ANUG with 2,313 votes and it was initially decided that Shuman would serve first, a representative from ANUG second and then TNM.

But ANUG has reportedly decided to let Dr Kissoon replace Shuman.

Presidential Candidate of the New Movement, Dr. Asha Kissoon

The TNM only managed 244 votes; it is expected that they will be allowed to serve in the National Assembly for a short period, likely just one year.

According to the agreement signed between the three parties, its members elected to the National Assembly cannot join the governing party to obtain ministerial or other government office or give the minority government a majority.

The document states that each member will resign from the National Assembly to allow for a member from another party to take up the seat.

The parties previously agreed that they all must decide how to vote on motions and bills taken to the House for approval. Further, the parties are expected to use their seat in the National Assembly to table motions to effect change.

The provision to join two or more lists is catered for in the country’s elections laws, namely Section 22 of the Representation of the Peoples Act.

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