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Former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Rear Admiral Gary Best, and former Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry Adviser, Mervin Williams are reportedly among People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) members being considered to occupy one of the two seats on the Opposition side of the House that will soon to become vacant with the resignations of A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Members of Parliament, Joseph Harmon and Dr. Nicolette Henry.
Harmon, the former Leader of the Opposition, has resigned from the Parliament of Guyana. However, his resignation will take effect on March 15 while Dr. Henry’s resignation would take effect on March 31. Village Voice News understands that in addition to Aubrey Norton – the Leader of the PNCR – being next in line to take up one of the two soon to be vacant seats, Williams – who served as an APNU+AFC and PNCR Member of Parliament; and Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Best – who sits on the Executive of the PNCR, are being considered for the additional seat. Best received the most votes for the post of Central Executive member of the PNCR at the congress last year. He previously served as an adviser to President David Granger.
Harmon’s resignation from Parliament comes less than six weeks after he stepped down as Leader of the Opposition. In a brief correspondence confirming his resignation on Friday evening, Harmon told the Village Voice News that he submitted his letter of registration on Thursday March 3, 022. That letter was reportedly submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir and Leader of the Coalition’s List of Representatives, David Granger.
His reason – personal.
“For personal reason which I considered in the National interest and that of the APNU+AFC,” he told this newspaper on Friday night. Harmon became Leader of the Opposition in 2020 after the APNU+AFC lost that year’s General and Regional Elections to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). However, his tenure as Opposition Leader was short lived after he lost the battle for the leadership of the PNCR – the largest political party in the coalition – to Political Scientist, Aubrey Norton in December, 2021.
By January 2022, the Executive of the PNCR called for Harmon to be replaced by Norton.
Amid public pressure, Harmon resigned as the Leader of the Opposition on January 26 with immediate effect paving the way for Norton to take up the mantle.
But the position of Leader of the Opposition has evaded Norton to date simply because he must await a seat on the Opposition side of the House to become vacant before he can be sworn in as a Member of Parliament, ultimately Opposition Leader.
Dr. Henry, who served as Minister of Education under the APNU+AFC Government, also submitted a letter of resignation to the National Assembly in February to presumably make way for Norton in the House, however, her resignation takes effect on March 31. During PNCR’s weekly press conference last Tuesday, Norton disclosed that the Leader of the List of Representative has been asked to extract his name to allow for him to sit in Parliament. However, that process could only be activated when a seat becomes vacant in the House from the Opposition benches.