Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Volney not moving; says Jack will speak for St Joseph in Parliament

Herbert Volney (Express photo) 
Herbert Volney told the Express newspaper on Tuesday he remains the MP for St Joseph despite the fact that his seat has been declared vacant and he is not moving from his Mt Lambert constituency office.

“I am still the Member of Parliament. I remain the Member of Parliament and will remain so until the matter is determined by the High Court, or until I resign and force a by-election,” he told the Express.

He has 14 days to decide if he wants to mount a legal challenge to the decision of the speaker.

The leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner suggested to Volney on Monday that rather than fight in court he should let the people decide in a byelection. Volney appears reluctant to do that.

And he told the Express that Warner will speak for his constituents in Parliament.

On the matter of whether he has consulted his constituents about his next moves, this is what the former judge told the paper: 

"I am the elected MP and I think that is my call. If I think that I can’t speak for them—they will have a voice, they will have someone who speaks for them in the House. I don’t think the people of St Joseph will have a problem with Mr Warner speaking for them because St Joseph has gone green.”

His comments on what he will do seems unclear. 

"I propose to file my action to preserve my membership of the Parliament and in my own timing, and after speaking with the political leader of the ILP I will likely force a by-election unless I have better reasons not to,” he said.

He remains adamant that the Speaker had no authority to declare the seat vacant although Wade Mark's statement in the House pointed to two important matters that gave him jurisdiction:
  1. The constitution provides for the leader of a political party to ask the Speaker of the House of Representatives to declare a seat vacant if the MP holding that seat no longer holds membership in the party under whose ticket the MP won the election. In this case, Kamla Persad-Bissessar made the request as leader of the United National Congress since Volney contested and won the seat on a UNC ticket and because he has resigned from the party
  2. The Speaker noted that he ruled under the House Standing Order that states that where there is no Standing Order to deal with a specific issue the Speaker has discretion in the matter
In his interview with the Express Volney also said if he had to do things differently he would not have fought as a UNC candidate in 2010 but as a member of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ).

The MSJ was a part of the People's Partnership (PP) and its leader at the time, Errol Mc Leod, fought the election in 2010 as a member of the UNC. The Fyzabad Declaration recognised Persad-Bissessar as the PP leader.

Although Volney has described the MSJ as a "principled group" he did not join the party after leaving the UNC. He has turned green and become a member of the ILP, which has rejected the MSJ as irrelevant.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai