Home News APNU / AFC is going to court to challenge the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries
More than three months after the Government appointed two Parliamentary Secretaries, the parliamentary Opposition Partnership for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) has gone to court to challenge the legality of appointments.
The two Parliamentary Secretaries, Vickash Ramkissoon and Sarah Brown, were appointed back in September to assist various Ministers. But APNU / AFC argue that they are both candidates on the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) list and therefore cannot serve as Parliamentary Secretaries.
It is understood that APNU / AFC wants the High Court to issue an order directing National Assembly Speaker Manzoor Nadir to prevent both sitting in the National Assembly as Parliamentary Secretaries.
The Parliamentary Secretaries were appointed on September 15, day two of the budget debates. Brown, who was Vice Chairman of Region One, was appointed to assist Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai while Ramkissoon was appointed to assist Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, in carrying out his duties.
At the time, this announcement interviewed the Government Chief Whip and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira, who had clarified the meaning of the appointments and the fact that they do not violate the Constitution but that them in the process of constitutional reform.
Joseph Hamilton, currently Labor Minister, is a former Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Health. Sukhai, on the other hand, served as Parliamentary Secretary in the very Ministry she now heads.
“After the constitutional reforms we went through in 2009, it provides for four technocrat Ministers and two parliamentary secretaries. Parliamentary secretaries may be appointed from elected MPs or persons eligible to be MPs. So you can have an MP who is a Parliamentary Secretary and one who is not. ”
“Those who are not elected MPs are allowed to sit in Parliament, speak but not vote. So in the past (Minister Sukhai) was MP and Parliamentary Secretary and (now Labor Minister Joseph Hamilton) MP and Parliamentary Secretary, ”explained Minister Teixeira.
This latest court case comes on the heels of a previous court case filed by the Opposition, challenging the appointment of current Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond.
In that case, Walrond’s dual citizenship status when he accepted the position of Member of Parliament was admitted as a violation of the Constitution. Attorney General Anil Nandlall had informed the court that Walrond would take a new oath as an unelected Member of Parliament at the next sitting of the National Assembly.