Speaker of the House upbraids PPP MP for breach of privilege

─ PPP MP Harry Gill writes letter deemed attack against Speaker

─ Prime Minister chastises Opposition for disrespecting Speaker

─ Matter sent to Privileges Committee

DPI Guyana, Monday, July 30, 2018

Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland has warned the House that allegations of impartiality by the Speaker can be treated as a breach of privilege and may be punished in accordance with the Standing Orders.

The Speaker, at the 95th sitting of the National Assembly today, made reference to a letter published in the dailies by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Harry Gill which has made imputations against the Speaker of the House in his personal and professional capacities.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland

The Speaker said MP Gill could have moved a motion as provided for in the Standing Orders, instead he proceeded to make public his discontent. This sort of the behaviour, Dr. Scotland cautioned, is “totally impermissible” in the House.

He noted that this is the second occasion in two years where such disregard for the House has been displayed by MPs. The Speaker believes that silence by previous speakers may have emboldened MP Gill.

Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo emphasised the need for appropriate measures to ensure that there is no continuation of this behaviour in the National Assembly.

PM Nagamootoo said the impugned article written by Gill transgresses the normative rules of the House. He deemed this action as the launch of a premeditated political attack against the Speaker.

The reception by the Opposition side of the House, the PM noted, demonstrates that the alleged offender (MP Gill) is politically protected.

The Prime Minister reminded that all MPS have been elected by the people of Guyana to protect the integrity of the National Assembly, which is an important symbol of our democracy. He made reference to other jurisdictions that treat this action as unacceptable.

The matter has been sent to the Privileges Committee for consideration.

Stacy Carmichael

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