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…Speaker to meet with APNU+AFC on election, as LJP opts out of election process
Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir on Wednesday informed the House that A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament, Joseph Harmon has resigned as Leader of the Opposition with immediate effect.
According to the Speaker, Harmon’s letter of resignation was submitted to the Office of the Parliament of Guyana just before mid-day on Wednesday. Election of a new Opposition Leader is expected soon.
The Speaker has since met with the parties in the National Assembly, which are not part of the Government. Those parties are the APNU+AFC and the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP). Deputy Speaker and Leader of LJP, Lenox Shuman has informed the Speaker that he will play no part in the election of a new Opposition Leader, while the Opposition’s Chief Whip, Christopher Jones indicated that the coalition will soon inform him of a convenient time to meet for the election to take place.
Harmon’s resignation comes one day after he signaled his intention to step down as the General Secretary of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). He is serving for a period of seven days, following which, is resignation will take effect. He remains a Member of Parliament.
His resignation as Opposition Leader also comes approximately one month after the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the PNCR – the largest party in the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) – voted to have its newly elected Leader, Norton, be appointed Leader of the Opposition. Though initial resistance, the call by the CEC, ignited discussions between the two leaders as well as former President David Granger – the Leader of the List of Representatives. Meetings with the coalition partner – AFC – were also held.
It is likely that Norton will be the next Opposition Leader, however, it would require the removal of an Opposition MP to pave way for him to take up a seat in the House, and ultimately become the Opposition Leader. Notably, Granger, on Tuesday, also tendered his resignation as Chairman of the APNU. He remains Leader of the List.