Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Carl Singh has cleared the way for the return of Government Ministers Winston Felix and Keith Scott to the National Assembly as technocrats while the government appeals the ruling by outgoing Chief Justice, Ian Chang.
Attorney General Basil Williams filed the appeal on Friday and the Chancellor granted a stay of execution on Justice Chang’s ruling, allowing the two Ministers to return to the National Assembly in time for today’s sitting.
Last week, Justice Chang came out from his retirement leave and ruled on an application by former Attorney General Anil Nandlall that the two Ministers should not sit in the National Assembly as technocrat members because their names appeared on the Candidates list for the coalition. Nandlall’s contention was that since their names were not extracted as elected members, they ought not be allowed to sit in the Assembly as non-elected members.
Justice Chang ruled in favour of Nandlall’s arguments. That ruling resulted in the two Ministers being told they would not be allowed to take up their non-voting seats in the Assembly. The Speaker of the National Assembly said the Assembly had to follow the ruling although it had not been provided with any directive.
Attorney General Basil Williams indicated immediately that the government would have been appealing the ruling. He also said he found it strange that the outgoing Chief Justice would come off of his pre retirement leave to make a ruling in the case and head back in to his leave. Mr. Williams believes that the government could be allowed to have the two Ministers sit as non-elected members.
With the stay of execution on the ruling now being granted, the Attorney General will move forward with the full appeal.