Editorial Staff
9 months ago

Editorial Staff
9 months ago

No By-Election in 120 Days-PM Browne

Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

There will be no by-election in 120 days. That’s the word from Prime Minister Gaston Browne; under whom the decision is made.

Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, the member of Parliament for St Mary’s South has written to the Speaker of the House last week, informing him of a decision to resign from Parliament, paving the way for a by-election in 120 days

But Browne said Simon failed to follow the proper process under the constitution for a member to vacate his seat.

Furthermore, the prime minister said no by-election will be called pending the current legal matter before the courts challenging the constitutionality of Simon’s nomination

“Even if his resignation is legitimate, it [by-election] is not happening before the court matter is resolved. It is the prime minister who gets to set the election date…Why would he think I would rush to call a by-election to support his position to circumvent the court process?”

Furthermore, Browne said Simon did not follow the proper procedures when he issued his resignation letter.

“Shugy has not properly resigned so there is also a significant legal flaw in his resignation…He botched his nomination, violated the laws and he was disqualified. Now having been accepted until the case is heard, he has botched the resignation as well,” Browne explained

Browne said it appears that Simon is attempting to circumvent the litigation process which calls for two causes; that the MP be caused to vacate the seat and handed over to the next contender or a by-election.

“I believe the litigation is asking the judge to vacate the seat and declare the ABLP’s candidate Samantha Marshal as the winner, who would have had the second highest number of votes,” Browne said

He said legal minds have advised the government that the court could declare the seat vacated and declare to the ABLP, “and this is what he is trying to prevent”

Simon won his seat by about 199 votes in the January 18th general elections.

He said his resignation was strictly based on presumptions that the people of his constituency were being negatively affected by the lengthy legal battle anticipated

“It is unfair to the people of St Mary’s South to have this uncertainty hanging over their heads. This situation needs to be resolved without further delay. I want this matter to be settled by the people, not by the court. The constituents of St Mary’s South elected me convincingly before, and I am confident that they will do so again in a by-election,” Simon stated

But Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, one of the government’s legal advisors said assuming that Simon’s resignation was legitimate, if his resignation is challenged in court by Samantha Marshal, there will be no by-election in 120 days

“The issue now is whether or not the constitution gives the right to resign for the reasons that he [Simon] has given…”Astaphan questioned

He explained that according to the standing orders governing the resignation from the House of Commons, members of Parliament cannot directly resign their seats.

“There are several ways in which a member seat may be vacated during the lifetime of a parliament… but members of Parliament cannot directly resign their seats unless one of the triggers for vacating the office of a member of Parliament is expressed” Astspahn explained

He said whichever say, the key issue will have to be decided either first by the speaker and then by the court.

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    And the poliTICOS continue.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    *PoliTRICKS!!!!

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Give me a break. The constitution or laws of A & B clearly state that once a parliamentarian had resigned his/her post, a bar election has to be called in 120 days. PM doesn’t have a choice.

    Reply
    • Mae

      The PM and his legal advisors don’t know the constitution of Antigua and Barbuda.
      ABLP has their own constitution they don’t abide by the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda. Is what Gaston says goes.
      Gaston and Cutie are going to move heaven and earth to make sure that Samantha Marshall becomes the representative of St Mary’s South.

      Reply
  4. Ras Smood

    who on earth is Shugy allowing to “ADVISE” him into destruction?
    Hope is not the NAZAREN CHURCH
    could it be Chaku Waku? or Harold loveLIE?

    Reply
    • Janet

      Chuko Symister is a constitutional lawyer. Are you trying to say that it is only Gaston and his legal team know the ANU Constitution and the Laws governing the Constitution, but Chuko doesn’t?

      Reply

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