Volney is out
Former high court Herbert Volney will have to go to court if he wants to return to the Parliament as the Member of Parliament for St Joseph.
House Speaker Wade Mark today declared Volney has resigned from the United National Congress and therefore had to cease performing his functions as a Member of the House of Representatives with immediate effect.
Mark made the ruling at the end of the budget statement delivered by Finance Minister Larry Howai.
Volney would only be able to resume functions if and when the legal proceedings he is entitled to file within 14 days, is in his favour.
Mark's gave his ruling in the matter after a lengthy address in which he read the letters written by Persad-Bissessar and Volney and outlined the powers of the Speaker and the requirements according to the Constitution.
Volney said last week that he was prepared for the ruling, and was ready to launch a legal battle to retain the seat he won on a UNC ticket in the May 2010 general election.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fired Volney as the Justice Minister last year following the section 34 debacle.
On July 30, 2013, Volney resigned as a UNC member, aligning himself with Jack Warner's Independent Liberal Party (ILP).
Persad-Bissessar subsequently wrote to House Speaker Wade Mark querying whether the St Joseph seat should be declared vacant since Volney has resigned from the UNC.
Volney has 14 days to launch a legal challenge and if that is done, the vacancy will not take effect until the legal proceedings are completed.