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BREAKING: APNU MP Jaipaul Sharma resigns

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan (L) speaks to APNU’s Jaipaul Sharma upon learning of his resignation.

APNU Jaipaul Sharma on Thursday confirmed that he has resigned as a member of parliament.

Speaking to reporters outside the Public Buildings as the budget debate continued Sharma said his decision was as a result of the statement made by education minister Priya Manickchand about his father.

According to Sharma, he believed that the government is looking to use his father’s legal troubles as a political football which could be detrimental to the APNU’s political fortunes. The Justice For All Party (JFAP) member said he did not want to be the cause of APNU misfortune and as such thought resigning was the prudent thing to do.

“Maybe the PPP/C is using this matter because there’s a possibility that they may go for a snap election and they may use this as an opportunity to cause the APNU votes. I don’t want to be that individual, I don’t want to be a political football.”

According to Sharma, he believed he did the honourable thing and wanted it to be clear that no one in the House was irreplaceable. He said the JFAP would remain a member of the APNU coalition.

“The only JFAP member we have on the list is Mr. (Geoffrey) Sankies so if we’re not in parliament … the Partnership is 10 members, five of them are outside so you could say we’re still in there,” Sharma said.

However, APNU Chairman David Granger, who joined him outside, said they were yet to receive a notice of resignation from Sharma who had communicated it directly to Speaker Raphael Trotman.

He dubbed Sharma’s move as “rather precipitate” and said they would be speaking to him to navigate the way forward. Granger said Sharma, who was on the anti-money laundering legislation committee, was a valued member of their team.