GUYANA: Parliament: Norton finally elected leader of opposition

…Volda Lawrence replaces Nicolette Henry as coalition fills vacant seats

Aubrey Norton Takes Oath

Apr 14, 2022  – Kaieteur News – People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) stalwart, Aubrey Compton Norton was on Wednesday elected Leader of the Opposition (LOO) several months after he won the headship of his party, which gave him a mandate to take up the post previously held by Joseph Harmon.

He was sworn in as a Member of Parliament first, before being elected the LOO during a meeting of the members of the opposition. Norton’s election has come 77 days after Harmon, tendered his resignation with immediate effect, late January.

After being appointed, Norton was also unopposed for the post of Opposition Leader and was bestowed with the position.

Also appointed to the National Assembly yesterday was People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member, Ms. Volda Lawrence, who is replacing former Education Minister, Dr. Nicolette Henry.         

Henry submitted her resignation to the National Assembly on February 2, during the 2022 Budget Debates. Her resignation was intended to pave way for the incoming Opposition Leader, but Harmon too decided to part ways from the National Assembly, signaling his intent to resign on March 5, with effect from March 15.

At the commencement of yesterday’s sitting, Speaker Manzoor Nadir announced, “As Dr. Henry’s name was extracted from A Partnership for National Unity plus the Alliance For Change List of Candidates, I have in accordance with Section 99 (a) of the said Act called upon the Representative of the said List to further extract from that List, the name of a person who is willing to become a Member of the National Assembly to fill that vacancy in the Assembly…I have been informed that Mr. Aubrey Norton has been extracted from the List and that Mr. Aubrey Norton was on 6th April 2022, declared by the Guyana Elections Commission to be an elected member of the National Assembly.”

While being sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP) by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Sherlock Isaacs, Norton said, “I Aubrey Norton do hereby solemnly declare that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the people of Guyana. That I will faithfully execute the office of Member of the National Assembly, without fear or favour, affection or ill will and in the execution of functions of that office I will honour, uphold and preserve the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”

Ms. Lawrence, who formerly served as Minister of Public Health and Chairperson of the Party, also took the oath and was appointed as an MP. She was declared by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on April 6, to take up a seat in the National Assembly.

When the second session of the Sitting resumed, Nadir announced that during the break, an election was held where Norton was elected to serve as the Leader of the Opposition. After congratulating the new Opposition Leader on his election to the office, Nadir allowed Norton to give brief remarks during which he said he was pleased as his election was unopposed by any member. Further, he pledged to carry out his functions in keeping with the Constitution of Guyana.

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