Barbara Pilgrim replaces Charrandas Persaud

Guyana’s newest Member of Parliament Barbara Pilgrim (left) shakes the hand of Speaker Dr Barton Scotland after taking the oath of office. (Terrence Thompson photo)

Barbara Patricia Pilgrim of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is the newest member of the National Assembly.

Pilgrim was yesterday sworn in by the Clerk Sherlock Isaacs after being acknowledged by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as a replacement for the recently recalled Charrandas Persaud.

Speaking with reporters during the dinner break, the former teacher and co-operative officer said  that she has been a member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the largest member of APNU, since she was 19.

“I’ve always been an active member of the People’s National Congress and not a back bench member. A very active member in Region 6,” she said, adding that she has in that time “tried to bring people together” and plans to continue doing so “so that we can move Guyana forward.”

Persaud, a member of the Alliance for Change had been recalled after voting in support of an Opposition sponsored No-Confidence motion which has led to the fall of the APNU+AFC government.

As a result of this defection he was, in keeping with Article 156(3) (c) of the Constitution recalled after Professor Harold Lutchman, who is the Representative of the list, informed the Speaker that the coalition had lost confidence in the member.

Persaud held his seat as a representative of Region 6 (East Berbice – Corentyne) and therefore his replacement was drawn from that Region’s List of Nominees.

The AFC in a statement welcoming Pilgrim explained that it had submitted two names for the Region 6 List ahead of the 2015 General and Regional Elections and has since exhausted its members. Therefore, “it fell on the APNU, as a consequence, to name the replacement for the member who defected.”

The 2015 list included Colin Bynoe, Patricia Lynch and Pilgrim of APNU as well as Veerasammy Ramayya, and Persaud of the AFC. Ramayya has since resigned from the party leaving the party with no candidate to replace Persaud hence the seat reverting to an APNU member costing the AFC one of the 12 seats guaranteed by the Cummingsburg Accord.

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