The Government of Guyana this afternoon announced that the portfolios of the former Ministers who have resigned will be handled in the interim by the Government Ministers who acted in their position.
The President’s Office this morning announced that the President had accepted the resignations of the Government Members of Parliament who are holders of dual citizenship. The Four are Carl Greenidge, Joseph Harmon, Dominic Gaskin and Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine who held ministerial portfolios respectively for Foreign Affairs, State, Business and Tourism and the Public Service.
In a statement this evening, the Government said “for the ensuing period, as is the usual practice, these portfolios would now be held by sitting members of Cabinet who previously acted for these ministers on leave or out of the jurisdiction”.
The statement said following rulings by the High Court and the Guyana Court of Appeal, President David Granger had sought Cabinet’s advice on how to definitively address the status of Members of Parliament who hold dual citizenship. The Courts have held that it is unconstitutional for persons swearing allegiance to a foreign state or power to be eligible for election to Parliament.
The four Government MPs who were also ministers, submitted to the President their resignations from the House and the President accepted those resignations yesterday.
“On reviewing this development, Cabinet described the action by the ministers as politically correct and as a demonstration of their respect for the rule of law”, the statement added.
According to the statement, while it is conceded that the Constitution strictly bars a person who holds dual citizenship from being an MP, they are not precluded from remaining in government service and that matter will addressed by the President who will finalize ways in which the four resigned MPs will serve in government.
The Cabinet said it looks forward to names being extracted from the APNU+AFC Coalition list of candidates to fill the vacancies of the MPs who have resigned their seats.