Last Updated on Thursday, 10 December 2020, 9:55 by Denis Chabrol
Attorney General Anil Nandlall on Thursday admitted that Oneidge Walrond’s appointment as a minister and oath as a parliamentarian were unconstitutional because she had still be an American citizen.
“There was a recognition that the appointment was not done in accordance with the constitution,” he told a High Court hearing into a case brought by opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change parliamentarian, Christopher Jones challenging the constitutionality of Ms. Walrond’s appointment.
The Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the US states that she took an oath of renunciation on September 4 and the Certificate of Loss of Nationality was approved on September 8. Ms. Walrond who had said that she had renounced her citizenship on August 18 with immediate effect and that she took the oath as a Parliamentarian on September 1 after she had renounced her citizenship of the United States of America.
Mr. Nandlall said she has since taken the oath of office as Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce from December 1, 2020
Mr. Jones had wanted the High Court to find that her appointment was unconstitutional because she had still been an American citizen at the time she had taken oaths as a minister and a member of the National Assembly.
Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire declared that Ms. Walrond “is not” a lawful member of the National Assembly and “was not” lawfully appointed a minister before December 1, 2020. The Minister is expected to be sworn in again as a parliamentarian when the National Assembly meets again.
The Attorney General did not want the Court to issue the declarations because “the identified wrong has been remedied, the order is not necessary.”
Jones’ lawyer, Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde insisted on the award of costs because the Attorney General failed to call him overnight at least and inform him that that he would have been conceding in the case. Mr. Forde noted that “we had been rebuffed and publicly humiliated.”
The Chief Justice awarded costs in the sum of GYD$75,000.