Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says she is prepared for the “various scenarios” once there is a by-election in St Joseph “given the probability that” the United National Congress (UNC) “may lose that seat.”
This was Persad-Bissessar’s position on the matter while she was speaking to reporters after the opening of the New Law Term at the Hall of Justice, when asked to comment on the disclosure by Herbert Volney that he will be “retiring” as House Speaker Wade Mark declared last week he can no longer function as the MP for St Joseph.
Volney disclosed his decision on an interview on i95.5 fm yesterday morning.
“I’m retiring I am going to opt out altogether,” Volney said. He also said, “There will be a by-election and I will not be a candidate for any party or an independent at all.”
Volney said he has “given it” his “best shot” and he wanted to “go out with grace” and his dignity in hand.
He is expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday regarding his decision.
He has applied to be an ordinary member of the ILP.
Both Persad-Bissessar and the interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner, had said Volney should resign and let the constituents of St Joseph decide who their MP should be.
Persad-Bissessar said the UNC, on whose party ticket Volney was elected as the St Joseph MP during the 2010 General Elections, is “prepared for any eventuality” as she awaited formal word on whether the matter would go to the courts or to the polls.
“I’m prepared for those various scenarios given the probability that we may lose that seat but I come back on principle on upholding the oath that I took in office upholding the Constitution and the law and in particular section 49,49 A of the Constitution in that regard as I said before win lose or draw I think it’s the right thing to do and therefore you do the right thing because it is the right thing to do,” Persad-Bissessar said.
It was based on her written recommendation that as both the Prime Minister and political leader of the UNC that House Speaker Wade Mark declared on September 9, that Volney could no longer perform his functions as an MP as he resigned from the UNC on July 30th.
Mark made the ruling despite the absence of certain standing orders mentioned in Section 49 A of the Constitution, as he referred to the existing standing orders and his authority as the Speaker.