Speaker and GECOM pass blame for empty Opposition seats

Weeks after the APNU+AFC Member of Parliament (MP) Joseph Harmon resigned from the National Assembly, the seat remains empty as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the Speaker play a bureaucratic game of; hot potato with the issue. This leaves the nation lacking an Opposition Leader and places democracy at serious risk.

When questioned about the cause of the delay in the appointment of a new MP, GECOM claimed that it never formally received any notification that there was an empty seat in the National Assembly and as a result, they could not take any steps to fill the seat. This is strange as the entire nation has known for weeks that the MP has resigned.

When asked what caused his failure to notify the GECOM of the vacant seat, the Speaker, Hon. Manzoor Nadir, claimed that Parliament is not responsible for informing the Elections Commission. The Speaker further stated that Parliament has sent a letter informing the APNU+AFC’s representative of the list David Granger of the resignation. Such pointless confusion would suggest that this is the first time there has been a resignation from parliament, which we all know to not be the case.

While they pass the blame, the nation continues to be without a leader of the parliamentary Opposition. The PPP capitalized on this fact and rushed to unilaterally take actions that would traditionally involve consulting the Opposition Leader. The recent appointment of a new Commissioner of Police stands out as the PPP claims that they could not have consulted with the Opposition Leader.

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