Stabroek News

Parties commence talks for Shuman’s replacemen­t


Parties that make up the joinder list have commenced consultati­ons for the replacemen­t of Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) member Lenox Shuman, who has tendered his resignatio­n as a Member of Parliament. Shuman, whose resignatio­n takes effect from March 31, 2023, was also deputy speaker of the National Assembly.

Along with the LJP, A New and United Guyana (ANUG), and The New Movement (TNM) are the parties on that list.

Kian Jabour, an executive member of ANUG, confirmed last week that consultati­ons and discussion were underway and that Shuman’s successor would be announced shortly. He explained that they were following the necessary protocols set out by Parliament and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Head of the TMN Dr Asha Kissoon, when contacted, echoed similar sentiments. She said that the process was blossoming.

According to Jabour, the extensive consultati­on process was to ensure all parties benefit from the joinder agreement and contribute meaningful­ly in the National Assembly.

Stabroek News understand­s that the next representa­tive is likely to come from the TNM group. The group is expected to serve approximat­ely 90 days in parliament.

Jabour noted that this matter was also part of the discussion. “We have been considerin­g that fact…

When elections are called at the end of the term, Parliament goes into suspension and they [the TNM] potentiall­y will not be able to contribute.”

Shuman’s resignatio­n letter, seen by this newspaper, informed the House that his move was to facilitate the next party in the joinder agreement to occupy the parliament­ary seat.

The parties had agreed to their votes being counted collective­ly to improve their chances at securing seats in the National Assembly. This agreement derived from Section 22 of the Representa­tion of the People Act, under which they agreed to apply for a joinder.

The parties had contested the polls separately but in tabulating votes for the allocation of seats in the National Assembly and on the Regional Democratic Councils, their votes were combined.

According to the Act, two or more lists of candidates shall be joined for the distributi­on of seats (but not for the purpose of voting) if the representa­tive and deputy representa­tive of each list to be so joined gives notice accordingl­y in writing to the Chief Election Officer not later than the 25th day before election day. It adds that lists so joined are to be referred to collective­ly as a combinatio­n of lists. This use of the joinder approach was a first-time applicatio­n since the provision was made in 1963.

Meanwhile, with Shuman’s departure from the National Assembly, a new Deputy Speaker will also need to be elected.

The Deputy Speaker of the House is usually drawn from the opposition ranks. The major opposition APNU+AFC - holds 31 seats and it might have been expected that the Deputy Speaker would have emerged from that coalition’s ranks. However, 34 MPs – 33 from the PPP/C and Shuman – had voted for the former toshao of St Cuthbert’s Mission. He was nominated by Prime Minister Mark Phillips and the nomination was seconded by Minister of Parliament­ary Affairs Gail Teixeira.

 ?? Lenox Shuman ??
Lenox Shuman

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