MPS and Ministers condemn Opposition for their disrespect of National Assembly

DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 11, 2017

Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) on the government’s side of the National Assembly have registered their disappointment in the Opposition for their actions at today’s sitting.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon described today’s action by MP Juan Edghill as part of a pattern of disrespect by the Opposition. MP Edghill refused to obey a ruling from Speaker, Dr. Barton Scotland, during the consideration of the Ministry of the Presidency 2018 budget estimates.

“This has nothing to do with who can speak and all of that. It’s a question of the rule of law. The Speaker is the person who controls the business of this House and he cannot, Mr. Edghill or no other member of the House, decide that they will violate these rules of the House by refusing to take action when the Speaker tells them to do so. If this were to be allowed to go like that we will have chaos”, Minister Harmon emphasised.

Edghill’s refusal to comply with the Speaker’s ruling quickly degraded into chaos after Dr. Scotland directed the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove Edghill from the chambers.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin said this is the second incident of “obnoxious behaviour” from the Opposition during a sitting. “This is a party that claims its wants to run this country, govern this country. How can you govern a country when you have such little respect for our national institutions? Any member who does not recognise the authority of the Speaker has no place in this House!”, he added.

“Bishop told the Speaker in no uncertain terms ‘I’m not leaving. Get the Police to remove me! What kind of religious man is that to begin with? And when the Speaker ordered him out of the House…he said, “I’m not leaving”, MP Charrandas Persaud recounted.

MP Edghill’s continued defiance of the Speaker’s orders saw an intervention by the Guyana Police Force to escort the Member out of the Chambers but ranks were met with a human barricade formed by Opposition parliamentarians. This prompted the suspension of the Sitting.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, said she was disappointed in the Opposition’s mockery of the sexual assaults in the House. “Regardless of what has happened, I sat there and male and female Members of Parliament shouting rape, rape, rape. It was recorded as if rape was a joke,” the Minister noted.

Today’s debacle was an embarrassment to women across Guyana, Minister Broomes added. “I mean where are we really going as women? Where are we? Rape is a serious problem”, an impassioned Broomes told media operatives.

During the confrontation between the Police and Opposition MPs, an Opposition member could be heard screaming “rape” repeatedly and loudly.

Meanwhile, MP Jermaine Figueira also expressed his disappointment to have witnessed today’s incident as a young politician, “This experience is not what the young people of Guyana are looking for from elected representatives”.

“I believe this is one of the highest House where decisions are made that will impact the nation more so the future of the nation. A lot of young people look to the Members of Parliament as role models as examples to aspire to, and I would want to believe that they are most disappointed with today’s activity”, Figueira added.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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