Shugy must still answer court case – MP Nicholas

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MP Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon (Facebook photo)
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By Samantha Simon

[email protected]

Members of Cabinet briefly addressed the matter of Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon’s resignation as MP this week, as well as the election petition brought to the court by claimant Casworth Aaron.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas told Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing that the main issue surrounding the case is whether or not Simon was elected, never mind questions surrounding his nomination.

Since the January 18 poll, the 43-year-old first-time politician has been the subject of an election petition that calls into question his legitimacy to serve as a parliamentarian.

It centres on whether Simon was eligible to run for office as he was a civil servant at the time he was officially nominated, despite the fact he quit his Ministry of Education position a fortnight before the election.

On June 7, Simon announced he was resigning as an MP in the hope of triggering a by-election and avoiding a protracted legal battle. But there have since been questions raised over whether the correct procedure was followed for his resignation too.

Nicholas acknowledged that the case is unprecedented and said the courts would bring clarity to the matter of civil servants offering themselves for public office and how it should be dealt with in future.

Minister Nicholas went on to claim that had the UPP and Simon taken better care from the start, this situation could have been avoided.

He continued to say that while many portray Simon as the victim in this situation, he personally believes that Simon is in truth a victim of his own circumstance and his lack of observation of the protocols surrounding nominations.

When asked if the Attorney General was of the same view as the Speaker that Simon had not properly resigned as MP, Minister Nicholas stated that Wednesday’s Cabinet discussion did not focus on that matter, but rather on his nomination and election.

Simon has consistently maintained he adhered to the correct procedures for both his election in January and his resignation this month.

Should it be deemed that Simon’s resignation as MP was valid, a by-election must be held within 120 days of June 7, in accordance with section 40 of the Constitution.

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