Reminding that members are present in the National Assembly at the behest of the people who considered them worthy of the title ‘leader’, Speaker of the House, Dr. Barton Scotland said the behaviour of members over the past weeks leaves a lot to be desired.
The Speaker noted that Members took an oath to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the People of Guyana, to faithfully execute the office of Member of the National Assembly without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, and to honour, uphold and preserve the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana’.
Dr. Scotland noted that over the past weeks, some unusual conduct has been demonstrated by some Members of Parliament. In one instance, that conduct led to the suspension of People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member, Juan Edghill, after he refused to heed the Speaker’s instruction to leave the sitting of December 11.
“Honourable Members have a duty to ensure that their conduct is befitting of the title they hold,” Dr. Scotland pointed out.
The Speaker, according to Dr. Scotland, presides over the deliberations in the House and is obliged to ensure that the dignity of the House is preserved at all times.
He pointed out that the Standing Orders of the National Assembly are the rules which govern the conduct of the Members.
“The rules presume reasonableness on the part of Members and respect by them for the highest standards of behaviour in the National Assembly,” Dr. Scotland stated.
He noted that the Standing Orders of the National Assembly largely emulate the practice observed in the British Parliament.
The Speaker stated that in several Commonwealth jurisdictions, Members have been ordered to leave the Chamber. He cited the case in the House of Commons where on February 11, 2017, during Prime Minister’s Question Time, a Member of Parliament was asked to leave the House for the day after refusing to retract a statement imputing questionable conduct to the British Prime Minister.
Dr. Scotland noted that the Member obeyed the Speaker’s order and left the Assembly for the day.
“In our own Parliament, there are several precedents as far back as the First Parliament in 1963 where Hon. Members were asked to leave the Chamber. These Members so directed complied with the Speaker’s order, regardless of however strongly they held and expressed their views,” Dr. Scotland noted.
He said the Rules of the National Assembly serve to preserve and protect the privileges which Members enjoy. According to the Speaker, it is through the Members’ scrupulous observance of the rules that Parliament is strengthened.
Oct 15, 2018Eagles Basketball Club and Pacesetters played both matches contested on Saturday at the Burnham hard court in the Second and First Division of the Rainforest Water/Malta Supreme/Georgetown Amateur...
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