Opposition Declines to Sign Qualification Declaration


An attempt in parliament on Thursday to have all elected members sign a qualification declaration to comply with a requirement of the representation of the people’s act failed to get the full support of the house.

The declaration is a requirement of section 62 of the act and stipulates that every person elected as a member of the house of assembly shall, before sitting or voting therein, make the declaration of qualification and sign the oath of allegiance.

However, while elected members had been taking the oath of allegiance, for more than two decades they had not been signing the declaration – which is to indicate that they qualify to sit as mp’s.

At the last meeting of the house of parliament, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves drew the omission to the attention of the house noting that they should rectify it.

The elected members on the government side all signed the declaration on Thursday but the elected opposition mp’s did not.

Opposition Leader, Dr. Godwin Friday said he objected to the entire process as the action in parliament today was not in compliance with the law.

Stating profound disagreement with Dr. Friday’s position, Dr. Gonsalves said what was compounding the problem was to not correct the error when it was spotted.

In support of his position, PM Gonsalves made reference to a similar case in a previous parliament having to do with the authorization of expenditure from the consolidated fund.

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