September 23 will be a “day of infamy”, and the day Member of Parliament for St Joseph West Herbert Volney will vacate his seat, Volney said yesterday.
The former High Court judge, who last week Monday had his seat declared vacant in Parliament by Speaker of the House Wade Mark, confirmed yesterday that he will be bowing out of politics.
Volney, by way of press release yesterday, stated that he will not pursue legal recourse in the matter because of a lack of avenue to appeal, as well “political ridicule and harassment” by government supporters.
“The Member of Parliament for the Constituency of St Joseph does not propose to oblige litigation in the High Court for several reasons,” the release read, “including the high cost of litigation, the perpetuation of State sponsored political ridicule and harassment by supporters of the government, and the absence of access to the appellate jurisdiction of the Privy Council or the Caribbean Court of Justice.”
Volney stated, however, that he sought legal “advice of Senior Counsel” over the Speaker’s ruling, which he said advised him that “there is a strong justiciable cause against the Speaker of the House of Representatives to challenge and upset his ruling.”
He claimed that Mark “side-stepped the clearly ordained jurisdiction of section 52 of the Constitution” in coming to the decision to expel him from the House.
“This is a matter of great constitutional importance. The conjoint action of the Prime Minister and the Speaker has upset the legitimate election and tenure of the Member of Parliament for St Joseph other than by popular expression of the will of the people.
“The cause to correct a patently wrong ruling of the Speaker,” Volney added, “is not, however, one for the Member of Parliament to pursue, given his desire not to continue in electoral politics.”