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Full Court refuses to hear suspended APNU/AFC MPs’ premature appeal

The Full Court of Demerara on Friday refused to grant interim orders and injunctions sought by eight Opposition Members of Parliament (MP), who were suspended from Parliament over ‘disorderly conduct and collective vulgarity.’

The Opposition MPs are Annette Ferguson, Christopher Jones, Ganesh Mahipaul, Vinceroy Jordan, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Sherod Duncan, Maureen Philadelphia, and Natasha Singh-Lewis.

On December 29, 2021, while the Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, was debating the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) Bill of 2021, the Parliamentarians attempted to hijack and derail the sitting.

Ferguson attempted to seize the Parliament’s ceremonial symbol, the mace off the Speaker’s desk, and other MPs tried to do the same, which was caught on video.

In July, the National Assembly adopted the recommendations of the Committee of Privileges to have the eight Opposition MPs suspended from future sittings.

Following the adaptation of the recommendation, the eight MPs, through Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde, SC, mounted a legal action before the High Court, seeking among other things, to nullify the recommendation by the Committee of Privileges.

They also asked for several conservatory orders and injunctions, which, if granted, would have allowed them to attend Parliament.

But High Court Judge Damone Younge refused the orders, noting that she wanted to determine if she had jurisdiction to hear the case before providing any reliefs.

As such, she adjourned the matter to November 1 for a full hearing on the issue of jurisdiction, along with an application filed by the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC, for the case to be dismissed.

Dissatisfied, the Opposition MPs moved to the Full Court, which found that the appeal was “premature.”

In fact, the Full Court, comprising Justices Jo Ann Barlow and Sandil Kissoon, dismissed the appeal noting that it raised issues identical to those before Justice Younge.

In delivering the Court’s ruling, Justice Barlow highlighted that there was no final decision by the High Court and that there could not be any appeal.

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