GEORGETOWN, Guyana, August 11, 2022 - As the Guyana National Assembly continues to legislate without the eight suspended Opposition Members of Parliament, the High Court’s Justice Damone Younge yesterday refused to grant an interim order blocking the suspension while the substantive case was being heard.
Justice Younge referenced her earlier ruling that she prefers to go through all of the oral arguments in the matter, which are now set to be heard on the 1st November. The Judge has also set strict timelines for all sides to hand in their submissions and responses.
The eight Opposition MPs – Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Vinceroy Jordan, Annette Ferguson, Maureen Philadelphia, Ganesh Mahipaul, Sherod Duncan, Christopher Jones and Natasha Singh-Lewis – are challenging a decision of the National Assembly’s Committee of Privileges to suspend them over last December’s protest in the National Assembly during the presentation of the Natural Resource Fund Bill.
They are seeking a determination by the High Court, for the lifting of their suspension from the National Assembly.
Attorney General Anil Nandlall informed the High Court that he will be filing an application to strike out the matter completely, while In another application, he is expected to challenge the High Court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.
Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir who is listed as the second respondent in the case, has also signalled his intention to file an application to be removed as a party to the proceedings. The Speaker will also challenge the Court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Justice Younge has given both the Attorney General and the Speaker up until August 29 to file their applications and accompanying documents, and September 19 for the filing of answers by the applicants. All submissions are expected to be filed by October 12.
The eight Opposition MPs were suspended last week. Some of them have been suspended from six sittings while others have been suspended from four sittings.
The suspended MPs are maintaining that their suspension is illegal since they were not given a hearing before the Committee of Privileges to respond to the case filed against them.
The Opposition Members of the Committee stayed away from the Committee’s meeting addressing the matter and also stayed away from the debate when it was placed in the National Assembly.
Source: News Source Guyana