ATTORNEY GENERAL Anand Ramlogan has lost his head if he tries to force a by-election and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar would be guilty of the same thing if she allows it.
This was the claim of independent Member of Parliament for St Joseph Herbert Volney yesterday as he commented on Ramlogan’s statement that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wade Mark, has to be written to, to declare Volney’s seat vacant prompting a by-election.
Speaking with members of the media during the distribution of school books at Barrackpore on Thursday night, Ramlogan said legal advice was sought on the matter and it is clear, according to Section 49 of the Constitution, that an MP who resigns from a party under whose banner he/she won cannot continue to be an MP and the seat must be declared vacant.
Ramlogan said the Prime Minister consulted with him and a letter was written to the Speaker that Volney be dealt with in accordance with the Constitution.
Volney said the attempt to unseat him is nothing more than the AG’s “attempt to harass me”.
This harassment, Volney claims, stems from his stance to oppose a government of corruption, of which Ramlogan is a part.
“If Mr Volney does not challenge the move to have his seat declared vacant then one would expect that there would be a by-election,” Ramlogan said.
Volney responded: “The AG is seeking to unseat me because he knows when I get back into Parliament, Mr (Jack) Warner and I would make a formidable team to expose the corruption of this Government.
“The AG would abuse his office and use State resources to fight me if I go to court to keep me out of Parliament. I will not let him have his way, if it comes to that I would save the taxpayers a lot of money and I would resign. If I do I will support the candidate who the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) puts to represent the area,” Volney said.
The former minister of justice said he would ceremoniously hand in his registration form to Warner, interim leader of the ILP, as he welcomed him into the constituency of St Joseph today.
He said if he is not accepted by the ILP he would remain an independent Member of the Parliament.
“I have been on the ground and I know how my people feel and I tell you it will be wetting after wetting after wetting in St Joseph for the United National Congress (UNC),” should a by-election be called there.
He added that the UNC is not liked in St Joseph “at all” and may be able to muster some 2,000 votes of the 25,000-plus voters in the area.
The former High Court judge said he did not leave the judiciary to “be harassed by young Anand Ramlogan” and warned the UNC-led People’s Partnership that it would be a sure defeat if they seek to unseat him and reclaim the constituency under the banner of the UNC.
“UNC is a party that is going down hill...the ILP, having heard their meetings, seems to be a party on the rise and is a vessel for me to continue the contribution that I started. There are too many allegations of corruption against different ministers in different ministries which remain unanswered by the Government,” Volney said.
He said the allegations of corruptions against the ministers were not as glaring as they are now prior to his dismissal on September 20 last year. He added the corruption surrounds the procurement of contracts and when he was fired the contracts were still in the planning stages.
Volney said during his time in the Cabinet allegations would arise and he would confront the Cabinet about it and caution the Government to address it, but this was never done.
Volney said he is a very resourceful man, not in terms of finances, so if he is no longer an MP he would find a way to make a living.
“I did not give up a $60,000 job tax-free to come out here and I could simply stay home and write and make my living in very different ways.”