Friday, March 23, 2012

Opposition motions deferred following government challenge.

Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman on Wednesday ruled that the three committee motions put forward by the opposition, namely the representation on sectoral committees the composition of the parliamentary management committee and the right to vote in parliamentary committees be re-presented to the National Assembly on March 30 before the reading of the 2012 budget.
Trotman’s ruling after Prime Minister Samuel Hinds challenged the presentation of the motions unaccompanied by the amendments and notice. The prime minister said that the motions which call for amendment to the Standing Orders were not properly laid before the House as “there was no proposed amendment accompanying the motions”.

Leader of the Opposition David Granger discusses and examines the Standing Orders with fellow MPs Joseph Harmon, Debra Backer, Basil Williams, Chief Whip Amna Ally, and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine during the 10-minute adjournment of Wednesday’s sitting of the House. Also at table is Dr George Norton

Hinds said too that the requirements of Standing Order 111 was not met by the opposition, “and we do not think that these motions” were properly placed before the House.

After listening to presentations made by both sides of the House, the Speaker took a 10 minute adjournment to discuss with the clerk of the Assembly the issue before the Parliament. Upon his return, he handed down his ruling.
He made it clear that the motions presented were not in any way flawed, and as such are in order, but it is necessary for the opposition to take to the National Assembly the draft amendments as are required.
“I rule that the motion as they are not out of order… but it is the notices that are out of order.” Trotman gave the opposition 48 hours to present the amendments, noting that those would be put again in the House on March 30, just before the presentation of the national budget as it would not be time consuming.
He apologised on behalf of the clerk who noted his mistake. “I confirmed with the clerk and the clerk advises me that there must be a copy of the amendment accompanying the motion and that he has erred either by oversight or by advertence or being busy, he says it was his error that he allowed the motions to come onto the order paper without the requisite amendments being attached.”

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