Speaker disallows Nandlall’s motion for debate

first_imgSpeaker of the House Dr Barton Scotland on Thursday disallowed PPP/C Member of Parliament Anil Nandlall’s motion for debate on the disruption of Regional Democratic Council meetings in Region Five.Nandlall made a request for leave to move the adjournment of the Assembly on the “definite matters of urgent public importance” under Standing Orders 12.He stated that the elected Democratic Council of Region Five has been prevented from holding statutory meetings for seven months due to the disruptive behaviour of the APNU/AFC councillors at each attempt at holding such meetings by the Regional Chairman.He highlighted that the situation has continued unabated despite many appeals to the councillors and with the knowledge of the government and the Minister of Communities.RDC meetings have been disrupted as APNU/AFC councillors protested for an apology from the Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal over an alleged slight of President David Granger. The falling-out began after Ramphal did not attend a handing over ceremony in the region, where the President was present. The APNU/AFC councillors labelled this as rude and have been disturbing the meetings.“This consistent, constant, unconstitutional and unlawful disruption of these meetings has prevented the Council from carrying out its mandates and responsibilities in keeping with the constitution and the statutes governing local government,” Nandlall told the National Assembly.He stated that the situation has led to public outrage as well as motions of support being adopted by a number of other Regional Democratic Councils in opposition to this disruptive behaviour and undemocratic posture of these councillors.He asked that the National Assembly uphold the Constitution and defend the right of the Council to meet and execute its mandate and responsibilities. He also asked for the Assembly to have the councillors immediately cease and desist from this disruptive, unlawful and undemocratic behaviour.Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs, in a letter, had stated that he was directed by the Speaker of the House concerning developments over the past two days in relation to reports of reconciliation among the councillors of Region Five. He said the Speaker is of the view that this matter has been resolved and no longer requires national attention.The Speaker, on the other hand, responded to Nandlall’s motion, stating since the matter has been ongoing for the past seven months it cannot be deemed as urgent and therefore does not qualify in accordance with Standing Order 12.He stated that it did not meet the requirement of urgency: “One has to ask if it was existing for seven months without any attention to anyone… I wonder why it is urgent on the eight month.”However, Nandlall in a press briefing earlier that day, stated that the Speaker dubbed the matter as unimportant because of President Granger’s call for his party’s councillors to resolve the issue at the Regional Democratic Council.Nandlall posited that while the President’s intervention was welcomed, it is still not clear if there will be a change.He argued that the Speaker’s position does not augur well for democracy, asserting that it does not encourage free debate in Parliament.last_img read more