Former Member of Parliament for the People’s National Congress, Ernest Elliott will be sworn in as the new Member of Parliament for the APNU on Monday, filling the seat left vacant by the resignation of Jaipaul Sharma.
Elliott who has been a community activist for the PNC for several years, has also served as the Chairman of the party’s Region Four council. He served in the National Assembly as a member after the 2006 elections and was very active across the country during the APNU’s 2011 Elections campaign.
Senior APNU officials have explained to News Source that because Jaipaul Sharma was drawn from the Geographical Constituency List of the APNU, his replacement had to be drawn from the same list, and Elliott came out as the best suited at this time for the position.
With Local Government Elections again appearing on the horizon, Elliott’s repositioning in the National Assembly is expected to aid in the field campaign work that will have to be launched in various sections of Region 4, when the elections process gets underway.
This is the second major change that the APNU has been forced to make in the National Assembly for the year. Earlier in the year, Dr. Karen Cummings was sworn in as a Member of Parliament to replace Deborah Backer who was ill at the time. Ms. Backer later passed away.
Jaipaul Sharma surprised many in the Partnership last week when he tendered his resignation after being “insulted” in the National Assembly by Education Minister Priya Manickchand who heckled that the APNU should ask “its member Sharma” about statutory rape.
Manickchand refused to apologise for the remark although she said she did not mean to offend anyone. Her rape comment may have been directed to the father of Jaipaul Sharma, TV Host CN Sharma who is currently before the courts on a carnal knowledge charge.
The APNU has called on Manickchand to apologise over her attack on the Member of Parliament. She continues to refuse to apologise and on Friday when she stood to make her budget presentation, the APNU members banged on the desks, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the sitting. The Speaker had earlier banned Manickchand for her refusal to apologise but later reversed that decision after her “did not mean to offend” statement.
Jaipaul Sharma said he was not going to allow himself to be treated like a political football by the Government in the National Assembly.