AFTER being sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP) on Wednesday, Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Aubrey Norton, was officially elected as the Leader of the Opposition (LoO) by the APNU+AFC MPs.
Former PNCR Chairman, Volda Lawrence, also marked her return to the National Assembly and was sworn in to take up the second vacant opposition seat in Parliament. Both Norton and Lawrence took their sworn oath of office before the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs.
Speaking with the media moments after being elected Opposition Leader, Norton said he feels good to be chosen to represent the people.
According to Norton, he will focus on listening to the concerns of the people and push for transparency and accountability in governance.
Norton’s rise to the position of LoO had been anticipated for some time now, ever since he was elected leader of the PNCR in December. However, that required the resignation of an Opposition MP for Norton to take up the seat.
Norton had prevailed over then Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon in the contest for leader of the PNCR.
In January, Harmon resigned as LoO before resigning as a MP in March.
Harmon had also resigned as General-Secretary of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). Former President, David Granger, also resigned his position as Leader of APNU, a position Norton also took up.
Harmon’s resignation from Parliament was preceded by the resignation of former Education Minister, Dr Nicolette Henry. Dr Henry submitted her resignation in February. However, her resignation took effect in April.
With two empty seats, Lawrence, who had declined to contest a nomination for the PNCR leadership, was asked to take up the second seat and she accepted the request.
Commenting on her return as a MP, Lawrence said she was happy to be back.
“It feels good to once again get the opportunity to represent people, especially the people who don’t have a voice, and also to be involved in the development of our country,” Lawrence told reporters.
Norton said the opposition will need to appoint a new Shadow Minister of Education, a position previously held by Henry, while any other decisions would come following discussions within the party.