As a result of the chaos that ensued on Monday during the Committee of Supply, the estimates of six agencies were not scrutinized. Some expected that the work which was not completed in this regard would have been brought forward to yesterday’s sitting, but this was not the case.
Instead, Speaker of the House, Dr. Barton Scotland proposed that the estimates of the six agencies—Ministry of the Presidency, Guyana Defence Force, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Business, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Natural Resources—be passed without question.
The political Opposition was furious about this decision. The members shouted that the act was a shameful one; a representation of dictatorship; a sad day for the home of democracy.
In spite of their complaints, the Speaker still proceeded to call for a vote on the estimates of the various agencies. The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) members did not stay for this part. They walked out.
The Speaker seemed unmoved by the PPP’s actions and continued to fulfill the task ahead. Some members of the Opposition returned only when Dr. Scotland moved on to the examination of the work slated for yesterday’s sitting.
The agencies examined yesterday included the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Ministry of Legal Affairs, and Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
On Monday, the House descended to an all-time low when Opposition Member, Juan 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 that 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, and if help was required, he (Sergeant-at-Arms) knew what to do. Help was sought, as several ranks eventually entered the Chamber to forcefully remove Edghill.
The PPP Parliamentarians formed a human shield around Edghill.
In the process, Member of Parliament, Priya Manickchand, said that the police pushed her into the edge of a table. She cried as her fellow MPs fanned her while she sat in a chair. Between sobs, she complained that the police action was illegal and uncalled for. She stated that the police had punched her, but there was no evidence that this had occurred.
While Edghill was allowed to leave on Monday, he was arrested yesterday for a security breach at Parliament. He was later released.
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