Joseph Harmon resigns as MP effective March 15

…APNU/AFC rep. of list, David Granger was informed as per Norton

Former Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon has submitted his resignation as an APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) Member of Parliament, and his resignation is slated to take effect from March 15.
According to a well-placed source, the APNU Member of Parliament’s resignation letter was submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Issacs, late on Thursday, and this was subsequently transmitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir.

Former Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon

Harmon had previously stepped down as Opposition Leader in January of this year, amid mounting pressure from within the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R). That position has still got to be filled. He nevertheless had stated that he would remain a Member of Parliament.
Following his resignation as an MP, Harmon told a section of the media that he resigned for personal reasons, while adding that he did so in the best interest of the nation, and more so that of the APNU/AFC.
With Harmon’s resignation coming to light, PNC/R Leader Aubrey Norton is widely seen as the frontrunner to become the new Opposition Leader. In fact, he has a mandate from the PNC Central Executive Committee (CEC) to take up both that position and the position of Representative of the List of Candidates. The current list representative is former PNC/R Leader David Granger.

PNC/R Leader Aubrey Norton

However, Norton is yet to even become an MP. While Nicolette Henry, another APNU MP, had resigned last month, her resignation takes effect only on March 31. In a press conference on Tuesday last, Norton had disclosed that Granger, as Representative of the List, has been asked to extract his name from the list for entry into Parliament.
“The determination (of who goes to Parliament) is made by the APNU, forwarded to Mr. Granger, who acts as the Representative of the List… as far as I know, yes (the party has recommended Granger extract his name),” Norton said.

PNC/R Chairman Shurwayne Holder

“I don’t know that (Granger informed the National Assembly), and I think that will have to await the resignation. Remember, the resignation (Henry’s) is not until March 31, so there is not a vacant seat until the 31 of March. So, I don’t foresee him writing until the 31 of March,” the party leader had also said.
With the change of events, PNC/R Chairman Shurwayne Holder, in an interview with Guyana Times, noted that Norton’s entry to Parliament could be speedily expedited.
He also noted that he was not surprised at the news, and that Harmon’s reported reasons for his decision have to be respected.

“With the news of Mr. Harmon’s resignation… certainly (there’s a) possibility of the Leader of the PNC/R getting into Parliament much sooner than was anticipated. It didn’t take me by surprise when I saw the resignation. But I believe, as (claimed), Harmon has some personal issues. If that is the choice he has made, well, we can’t do much about that,” Holder said.
Norton, who secured a landslide victory at the party’s internal Congress in December 2021, had disclosed in January that the PNCR Central Executive Committee (CEC) had decided that he should also hold the post as Leader of the Opposition.
But Harmon, who lost his bid for the PNCR leadership position to Norton, had been adamant at the time that he should remain in the position, which was given to him by former PNCR Leader Granger. And despite being co-opted previously, Harmon was neither re-elected to the party’s Central Executive Committee – the highest decision-making body of the party – nor co-opted.
Harmon’s resignation as Opposition Leader came one day after he also stepped down as General Secretary of the APNU, while Granger resigned as the party’s Chairman. APNU’s Chairmanship was then taken up by Norton.
Granger and Harmon had met with Khemraj Ramjattan and other AFC leaders – Chairman Raphael Trotman; Vice Chair Catherine Hughes, and General Secretary of the AFC, David Patterson – in January 2022 to discuss several matters of interest, including his replacement as Opposition Leader.