The National Assembly yesterday, passed a motion which led to the suspension of Opposition Member, Bishop Juan Edghill from the next four days of budget debates.
The motion was moved by Government Chief Whip, Amna Ally.
In addressing the House on the matter, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland noted that on Monday, Edghill behaved in an extraordinarily unacceptable manner.
He noted that as a result of Edghill’s disobedience and insistence to follow his “own determinants” despite of instructions issued to him, the work of the Committee of Supply on Monday had to be suspended.
Dr. Scotland stressed that Edghill’s behaviour was unprecedented, and paved the way for the Government Chief Whip to bring the suspension motion before the House.
By this time, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo rose on a point of order. In spite of the Speaker’s calls for him to take his seat, Jagdeo ensured that his feelings of dissatisfaction were recorded in the Hansard.
The Opposition Leader said that while the Speaker found Edghill’s actions to be “unprecedented”, what should also be classified as same was the presence of police officers in the House who were insistent on arresting Edghill.
The former President opined that the Speaker’s move was only an attempt to have Edghill muzzled.
On Monday, the House was thrown into chaos when Edghill attempted to ask a question regarding an allocation for the Ministry of the Presidency.
The Speaker explained that the two hours set aside for the examination of that Ministry had come to an end.
Edghill was insistent however that the Committee had a right to examine the allocation since it was in relation to four additional programmes for the Ministry of the Presidency which were not there last year.
After much back and forth between the Speaker and the Opposition Member, Dr. Scotland asked Edghill to leave the House. The Parliamentarian refused to obey this order. The Speaker then instructed the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove Edghill from the Chamber. Help was sought as several ranks eventually entered the Chamber to forcefully remove Edghill.
The PPP Parliamentarians formed a human shield around Edghill.
While Edghill allowed to leave on Monday, he was arrested on Tuesday for a security breach at Parliament. He was later released.
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