Jagdeo says resignation of coalition MPs not sincere

…as Govt backpedals
…now says resignation will not take immediate effect

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo does not believe the coalition Government is serious when it comes to the resignation of their Members of Parliament (MPs) who hold dual citizenship status. This statement comes on the heels of Government saying on Wednesday that the resignation of its four Ministers, which was announced on Tuesday, will take effect only after certain constitutional processes are completed.
However, speaking at his weekly press conference on Wednesday, Jagdeo said the resignation of Ministers Joseph Harmon (State), Carl Greenidge (Foreign Affairs), Dominic Gaskin (Business) and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine (Public Service) was done only because of mounting public pressure on their duplicity since they fully accepted the Court of Appeal’s decision that the Opposition’s No-confidence Motion was invalid but refused to accept both the High Court and Appeal Court’s ruling that dual citizens are not qualified to sit in the National Assembly.
“So they were caught in a dilemma and I think they’re trying to get out of that dilemma (but) there’s quite a bit of confusion in this matter because they’re not sincere about it,” he noted.
This lack of sincerity and honesty by Government, according to the Opposition Leader, are reflected in the missives sent out by the Government over the past two days, indicating firstly the President has accepted the resignation of the four Ministers and that they would not return to the National Assembly, but then backtracked on that to say that the resignations will not take immediate effect until the necessary processes are completed.
“What process apart from a resignation (letter) to the President is required for you to resign as a Minister? As Member of Parliament, you have to send a letter to the Speaker and how long does it take to write a letter to the Speaker? It could be done immediately…but clearly these people think Guyanese are fools; that we will buy this garbage that they shove at us every single day and we will not recognise that they are taking us for a ride. But I have great faith in the people of this country, that they will recognise what is going on here.” Jagdeo asserted.

Immediate effect
One day after announcing the resignation of the four Government parliamentarians, President David Granger in a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency on Wednesday said that while he accepted the resignation of the MPs, their resignations will not take effect immediately as there are several processes which have to be applied.
These, he noted, include submitting their letters of resignation to the Speaker of the National Assembly, as well as a letter to the Representative of the List from which they were elected.
Article 156 (1) (a) of the Constitution states: “A member of the National Assembly shall vacate his or her seat therein – if he or she resigns it by writing under his or her own hand addressed to the Speaker or, if the Office of the Speaker if vacant or the Speaker is absent from Guyana, to the Deputy Speaker”; while Article 156 (4) (a) says: “The Speaker shall declare the seat of a Member of the National Assembly vacant where – (a) the Speaker receives a written declaration of the Member of the National Assembly… or (b) the Representative of the List issues a notice of recall…”
On this note, the President reminded that the nomination of new members can be done only after the extraction of names from the National Top-Up list is approved by the Guyana Elections Commission. This means the four MPs will remain Ministers until those processes are completed.
Furthermore, the Head of State indicated in the missive that he has not approved their replacements in the National Assembly at this time.
However, in a statement from the coalition Cabinet on Tuesday, it was noted that these four Ministers when resigned will remain in the Government service and this will be finalised when President Granger returns from Cuba, where he’s receiving treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
But according to Jagdeo, this now means that taxpayers will have to carry the expenses of not only these four resigned Ministers, who will probably preserve their current benefits and perks, but also that of their replacements as well.

On the other hand, the coalition Government also announced on Wednesday that the three A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Ministers of Government who have resigned from the National Assembly have indicated that they will renounce their foreign citizenship. These are Harmon, Greenidge and Roopnaraine.
Gaskin, an Alliance For Change (AFC) member, is a born Briton.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo also announced that the three Opposition MPs – Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, Odinga Lumumba and Adrian Anamayah – who are also dual citizens, will also resigned. He noted that they have already written to the Representative of the List, Donald Ramotar, and by next week, will all submit letters to the Speaker of the House.
However, the Opposition Leader explained that only Teixeira and Lumumba will be renouncing their foreign citizenship.
“Adrian Anamayah will not renounced. He has explained to me that there are family obligations and other issues so he will not renounce because of those commitments he has…,” Jagdeo noted.
Nevertheless, he revealed that Teixeira has already commenced the process and is awaiting a response from the Canadian authorities on her application for an expedited renunciation, while Lumumba is expected to start his process soon.