Six weeks after stepping aside as Leader of the Opposition, outgoing APNU General Secretary, Joe Harmon has decided to leave the National Assembly altogether.
Mr. Harmon has submitted a letter of resignation as a Member of Parliament for the APNU+AFC Coalition.
News Source has confirmed that he indicated his decision in writing on Friday to the Speaker of the National Assembly and his party’s leadership as well as to the leader of the coalition’s candidates list.
Mr. Harmon’s resignation is expected to take effect from the 15th March, 2022.
Hamon’s resignation from the National Assembly came as a surprise to senior members of the Opposition Coalition but he has reportedly told supporters within the party that his decision is a personal one and one that is in the best interest of the coalition.
Harmon was elected Leader of the Opposition in 2020 just after the APNU+AFC Coalition found itself in the opposition benches in the Assembly following the 2020 elections, which saw the People’s Progressive Party. being returned to office.
Mr. Harmon’s stint as Opposition Leader lasted for 17 months. He was forced to resign as Opposition Leader following a humiliating defeat in his quest to become leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, which is the largest party in the coalition.
At first, Harmon wanted to hold on to the position of Opposition Leader, but he walked away from the position as the PNC’s executive made it very clear that the new leader of the party Aubrey Norton should be the one taking over the position after he becomes a Member of Parliament.
Political pundits saw Harmon’s defeat in the race for PNC leader as a referendum of his leadership of the coalition in the National Assembly and a loss of confidence in him among the party’s membership.
During the coalition’s time in office between 2015 and 2020, Mr. Harmon served in the powerful position of Minister of State, with several portfolios in the Office of the President. He was later appointed Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency after he was forced to resign as a Member of Parliament because of his dual citizenship status at the time following the no-confidence vote against the coalition government.
In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, Harmon surrendered his US Citizenship to be eligible to run as a candidate in the elections.
His resignation from the National Assembly is the second high-profile resignation for the APNU+AFC Coalition from the Assembly in the past month. In February, MP Nicolette Henry indicated that she will be leaving the National Assembly from the end of March.
With the two seats becoming vacant, the way is now clear for the PNC Leader Aubrey Norton and one other candidate for the party to enter the National Assembly.
There are reports that former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best could be the other PNC Executive Member heading into the National Assembly.
At the party’s recent elections, Mr. Best gained the highest number of votes in the election for Central Executive Members.