Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, the Member of Parliament for St Mary’s South, has submitted his resignation letter to the Speaker of the House.
This decision will lead to a by-election within 120 days.
However, Prime Minister Browne argues that Simon did not follow the proper constitutional process to vacate his seat.
As a result, no by-election will be called until the ongoing legal matter challenging the constitutionality of Simon’s nomination is resolved.
According to Browne, even if Simon’s resignation is valid, a by-election cannot take place until the court matter is settled.
The prime minister holds the authority to set the election date and sees no reason to rush a by-election that could potentially bypass the court process.
Browne further criticizes Simon’s resignation, stating that it did not adhere to the correct procedures.
He argues that there is a significant legal flaw in Simon’s resignation, emphasizing that it violates laws and disqualifies him.
Browne believes that Simon’s intention is to circumvent the litigation process, which typically involves vacating the seat and either passing it to the next contender or holding a by-election.
Simon won his seat by a narrow margin of approximately 199 votes in the January 18 general elections.
He cites the negative impact of the prolonged legal battle on his constituents as the primary reason for his resignation.
Simon wants the matter to be settled by the people through a by-election rather than relying solely on the court’s decision.
However, Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, a legal advisor to the government, questions the legitimacy of Simon’s resignation and the reasons provided.
He explains that members of Parliament cannot directly resign their seats unless one of the triggers specified in the standing orders is met.
Therefore, if Simon’s resignation is challenged in court by Samantha Marshal, there will be no by-election within 120 days.
Ultimately, the determination of the validity of Simon’s resignation and the subsequent actions will need to be decided by the Speaker and, potentially, the court.