Jan 09, 2022 News
…calls PNC/R’s attack weak attempt to defend disorder
Kaieteur News – Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, has sought to defend his ‘honour’ following what he calls an attempt on the part of the main faction of the opposition coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), a weak attempt to justify parliamentary disorder.
Nadir in an official statement from the National Assembly said he “frowns upon the attempt by the” PNC/R to bring his speakership of the National Assembly of the Parliament of Guyana into disrepute.
Qualifying his position, in response to the allegations of bias, Nadir said, “Speakers, from time immemorial, due to the nature of the work, that is, preserving order and decorum within the Assembly and disciplining members, among other things, have always been accused of biasness.”
As such, he contends, “this allegation is therefore expected.” He added, “I wish to state, that as Speaker of the National Assembly, I have always conducted the business of the House in keeping with the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Guyana and other Parliamentary Procedures and Practices of the Commonwealth.”
He further contended that persons unfamiliar with Parliamentary Rules of Procedure “would interpret the way I have been approving and disapproving questions and motions, and my rulings on certain matters, (and) would claim that I am bias.”
To this end, he said “it is my firm opinion” that the PNC/R’s public jaunt was “a weak attempt to justify the un-parliamentary behaviour of the Members of Parliament who created grave disorder during the last Sitting of the National Assembly, with a view to prevent the passing of the Natural Resource Fund Bill No. 20 of 2021.”
According to Nadir, “It must be noted that the gross disorderly conduct of some of the members during the last Sitting of the National Assembly will not be condoned. Further, it is my duty as Speaker of the National Assembly to ensure that the business of the National Assembly is conducted in a fair, transparent, and orderly manner and this I will do until the end of my tenure.”
Nadir on the evening of Wednesday 29, December last, had presided over a raucous session of the National Assembly, where during a 20-minute ‘melee’ that resulted in the successful passage of the Natural Resource Bill of 2021.
That Bill was assented to by President Irfaan Ali the following day, December 30, with Minister within the Office of the President, with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Kumar Singh, signing the commencement Order to access the oil fund the following day on December 31 – Old Year’s Day.During the Debate in the House, APNU Members of Parliament through various, boisterous and physical efforts, attempted to disrupt the passage of the Bill, even removing the Mace—the Symbol of the Speaker’s Authority in the House.
Nadir, the following day, defended as lawful the passage of the NRF Bill—by then an Act—saying that the key ingredients had been met, namely the ‘replica’ Mace, being in place and government MPs being seated at the time of the vote.
Newly elected leader of the PNC/R on Friday during a press engagement lambasted the Speaker as biased and incapable saying, “…the Speaker of the National Assembly has no moral authority to lecture anyone about propriety. He has been, and continues to be complicit in making the National Assembly a tool of oppression.”
According to Norton, the Speaker “has demonstrated from the inception of the life of this 12th Parliament, that he is biased and incapable of managing the affairs of the National Assembly in a fair and transparent manner.”
The Speaker, he said, colluded with the PPP/C government to rush the Natural Resource Fund Bill through the National Assembly, “once again demonstrating his willingness to sacrifice the well-being of the people of Guyana…”
The PNCR leader continued, “…we lay the blame squarely at the feet of the corrupt PPP/C regime and a biased Speaker, for creating the conditions which correctly resulted in protest action in the National Assembly. It is the Speaker who should be disciplined.”
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