|PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Finance Minister Larry Howai (Guardian photo)|
She spoke about the matter after Speaker Wade Mark told legislators that he had declared the seat of MP Herbert Volney vacant on the basis of the constitution, which he said allows his to do that.
Persad-Bissessar explained why she took action against Volney.
“I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the law and when the circumstances arose, as they did in this case with the resignation of the Member of Parliament for St Joseph, I upheld the oath that I took by informing the Speaker accordingly as the Constitution provides in section 49 A,” she Express newspaper quoted her as saying.
“The matter went to the hands of the Speaker. The Speaker has now spoken and therefore Mr Volney does have rights under the Constitution as to the pathway he may take. The Government is prepared for any eventuality, whether it be with respect to legal action or whether it be to a by-election...
“I’ve said win, lose or draw we must do the right thing because it is the right thing to do and should a by-election arise we do not fear that. It is within the law and it is within our democratic traditions and the foundations of our parliamentary system...
“Given that the standing orders were not there, my legal advice and my own advice to myself in this regard was that the standing orders would not preclude the action being taken, the declaration being made. As I said, it is now left to the honourable member whether he would take further steps or not. I am prepared and we are prepared for any eventuality, be it the legal challenge or be it a scenario where a by-election may be forced.”