It is a breach of the Constitution for Harmon to be both Secretary to the Cabinet and a Minister of State, a Cabinet member and MP

Dear Editor,

As far as I recall, the Constitution of Guyana expressly provides for the Secretary to the Cabinet to be appointed by the President, who shall be responsible in accordance with such instructions as given him/or her by the President.

Section (1) 117 of the Constitution of Guyana states that: “There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet whose office shall be a public office.”

In light of the disclosure by Minis-ter of State, Joseph Harmon, that he is the Secretary to the Cabinet, while at the same time holding office as a Minister of State, a member of Cabinet and a Member of Parliament, the President may be called upon to explain this apparent breach of the Constitution.

The Stabroek News article, on October 9, 2017, headlined ‘Edghill queries gov’t policy on medical aid for families in dire need’, states that: “Harmon emphasised that Cabinet documents are secret until they are disclosed by him, as he is the Secretary to the Cabinet.”

Incidentally, the Defence Act, Chapter 15 of the Laws of Guyana, also makes provision for the Secre-tary to the Defence Board to be a public officer.  On June 1, 2015, Minister Harmon, was sworn in as the Secretary to the Defence Board by President Granger – an appointment that, I recall, was included in the Official Gazette on June 6, 2015. Perhaps, President Granger can also explain this breach.

I raise these two concerns because during my tenure as both the Secre-tary to the Cabinet and Secretary to the Defence Board, between 1992 and 2013, I, at no time, had reason to believe that as a Minister and Member of Parliament, I could still act in these two posts.

Yours faithfully,

Roger Luncheon

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