One month after Chief Justice Roxane George ruled that the appointment of PPP Candidates at the last elections, Vikash Ramkissoon and Sarah Browne as Parliamentary Secretaries and non-elected Members of the National Assembly was illegal and therefore the two are to be removed from the positions and seats in the National Assembly, the Attorney General has approached the Court of Appeal to put a hold on the ruling until the matter is fully determined.
In his submissions, the Attorney General said the applicant – Opposition Chip Christopher Jones will suffer no harm if Brown and Ramkission continue to sit in the house until the matter is determined at the Appeal level.
Though the Parliamentary Secretaries do not have voting powers, the Attorney General in his submissions pointed out that both Parliamentary Secretaries have been assigned important constitutional and parliamentary duties and without the interim protection of the Court of Appeal, they will not be able to discharge those functions.
“If the Second and Third Named Applicants/Appellants are prevented from discharging these important duties and functions and the appeal filed herein succeeds, as is likely, there is no way that the people of Guyana and the Second and Third Named Applicants/Appellants would be compensated for their prohibition from performing their public and constitutional duties,” The Attorney General said through Public Trustee and Official Receiver, Prithima Kissoon.
To buttress his case, the Attorney General cites the then Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh’s stay in favour of then Ministers Keith Scott and Winston Felix while an appeal had been heard into whether they could have been Technocratic Ministers although they had been elected members.
The AG believes that there are enough cases locally, to guide the Court of Appeal in its judgement.
He said “in the circumstances, it cannot be disputed that the appeal filed herein is not only grounded in merit but raises fundamental issues of interpretation of the Constitution, as well as issues integral to Guyana’s Parliamentary and Constitutional democracy”.