The pathway to a seat in Parliament and the position of Leader of the Opposition has now been cleared for PNC Reform Leader Aubrey Norton as Opposition Member of Parliament Dr Nicolette Henry will be moving on from the House.
Dr Henry who served as Education Minister under the APNU+AFC government announced this afternoon in the Assembly that her budget presentation today was her last. She offered thanks to a number of people as she prepared her departure.
“In light that this is my final budget presentation in this Honourable House, I begin by thanking none other than His Excellency former President David Granger who reposed in me the confidence to serve in this Honourable House. I am forever grateful to the people of this country who afforded me the opportunity to serve them with professionalism, dignity, and accountability. I thank the coalition partners, Khemraj, for their unwavering support and guidance. I thank the former Opposition Leader, my friend, and colleague the Honourable Joseph Harmon for his unwavering support. I thank each and every member of this Honourable House for the commitment and dedication they bring each and every day, sometimes under the most difficult circumstances. And I thank my family who have always held my back and who have supported every decision I have made. And so today it is with those words that I part company”, Henry said.
Earlier in the day, it was unclear whether the Member of Parliament would have been making a contribution to the budget debate. The Speaker initially announced that he was informed by the Opposition Chief Whip that she would not have been speaking. However, after returning from the afternoon break, the Speaker informed the House that Henry would be contributing to the debate and he apologised for his earlier announcement.
In beginning her budget debate speech, Henry hinted that her decision to leave the House was not voluntary. She called for women and girls to be respected and made it clear that she was not going to allow herself to be silenced.
News Source understands that the People’s National Congress which is the largest party in the coalition is expected to write the list leader David Granger overnight to indicate to him that its Leader Aubrey Norton will be taking up the seat being vacated by Henry in the National Assembly.
Mr. Granger will be expected to inform the Guyana Elections Commission and the Speaker of that Assembly of the decision to have Mr Norton become a new Member of Parliament.
Once he gets into Parliament, the Opposition will meet for his election as the Leader of the Opposition.
The entire process could take a few hours and Mr Norton could be in the Assembly before the end of the debates into the National Budget on Friday.