ANTIGUA | MP 'Shugy' Simon Challenges Speaker's Grounds in Refusing to Accept his Resignation

ANTIGUA | MP 'Shugy' Simon Challenges Speaker's Grounds in Refusing to Accept his Resignation

ST. JOHNS,  Antigua and Barbuda, June 15, 2023 - Saint Mary’s South MP  Kelvin “Shugy” Simon has written to Speaker of the House of Assembly Sir Gerald Watt, challenging  the grounds under which he refused to accept his letter of resignation submitted last Tuesday.

The St Mary’s South MP told the Speaker that he was reliably advised that his original letter of resignation was in order and took effect upon receipt by the Speaker of the House.

“He would have to say that he is resigning and indicate in a manner that I find to be credible. It would have to say that he had severed allegiance to the party that elected him.” 

The opposition MP told the House Speaker that he was advised that section 41 (1) (e) of the Constitution that Sir Gerald previously cited in claiming the proper procedure was not followed, does not apply.

“You Sir are imposing upon me a political requirement to resign and withdraw my allegiance from the United Progressive Party which, with respect, is not a requirement under Section 125”.

“Accordingly, Sir, I am advised that I have acted lawfully and fulfilled the requirements of section 125 and I request that you reconsider your position of refusing to accept my resignation,” the letter read.

The House Speaker told the 43 year old first time MP that  in resigning as an MP, Simon will have to sever his allegiance to the United Progressive Party.  

“He would have to say that he is resigning and indicate in a manner that I find to be credible. It would have to say that he had severed allegiance to the party that elected him,” Speaker Watt told the former Guidance Counsellor.

Speaker of the House of Assembly Sir Gerald Watt KC says Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon has not properly resigned and his letter can't be accepted.Speaker of the House of Assembly Sir Gerald Watt KC says Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon has not properly resigned and his letter can't be accepted.In the meantime, the matter came in for discussion at Thursday’s Post Cabinet press briefing and Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Lionel Hurst stated that it may be left to the courts as he believes that’s where the matter is heading and the process will be long.

“Simon himself has indicated that he will appeal any decision that goes against him and Mr. Aaron who brought the case has made similar statements and that will take quite a few months”, Hurst said.

indications from the government are the persons who filed the court action against the Saint Mary South MP,  a man by the name of Aaron Simon, may not be willing to withdraw the case despite attempts by the opposition MP to resign from the post.

In light of this, lawyers representing Kelvin “Shugy” Simon may not be able to avoid the expected lengthy court battle challenging his eligibility to hold office, as he was said to be a civil servant at the time of his nomination, despite his resignation as a Guidance Counsellor with the Ministry of Education two weeks prior to nomination.

Simon resigned from the post of MP last week indicating that he was seeking to avoid a lengthy court process that could drag on for months and the uncertainty was unfair to his constituents. "It's 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.

However, Speaker of the House Sir Gerald Watt KC in his response to Simon’s resignation letter stated that it had no legal effect, as it did not meet the established criteria outlined in the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda.

It is unclear what will be the way forward and whether a by-election will take place. However, Simon has already expressed confidence he will be successful once again.


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