KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — An expert in constitutional law has advised House Speaker Hendrick Alexander that there was nothing wrong with Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan voting when he was re-elected last December.
“The Attorney General is not caught by Section 42 of the Constitution. She was entitled to vote. There was therefore no question of knowing or having reasonable grounds of knowing she was not entitled to vote,” Alexander said, citing an executive summary on the issue by constitutional expert Dr. Francis Alexis, Q.C. of Grenada, who also noted that a clear and comfortable majority voted for Alexander to be re-elected as speaker.
Section 42 of the Constitution says “Any person who sits or votes in the House knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is nor entitled to do so shall be guilty of an offence, and liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or such other sum as may be prescribed by Parliament, for each day on which he so sits or votes in the House.”
The section further states: “Any prosecution for an offence under this section shall be instituted in the High Court and shall not be so instituted except by the Director of Public Prosecutions.”
Opposition lawmaker Dr. Godwin Friday — Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines — had asked the Speaker to rule on whether the Attorney General should have voted in the election.
Opposition MPs walked out of Parliament in May to protest the failure of the Speaker to rule on the controversial vote and an issue relating to statements by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.