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Friday fails to show up to table his Motion

Friday fails to show  up to table his Motion
Opposition Leader Dr Godwin Friday (right) says he was in solidarity with the people who had chosen to protest outside the House of Assembly. (file photo)

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When the Opposition Leader, Dr Godwin Friday’s name was called on June 6 to table his motion “On Conduct and Responsibility of Members” in Parliament, he was standing in solidarity with the people who had chosen to protest on that same day outside the House of Assembly.

His absence resulted in the motion being struck from the order paper, but Friday told SEARCHLIGHT that he can file a new motion, if the need arises for him to do so in the future.

“…The motion was asking – one of the things we had asked for was for the senator to withdraw from the chamber and she has done so, so in a sense, the motion without being debated has accomplished – by the mere filing of it – has accomplished that objective. So, we just have to wait and see now if the need arises for us to address it in that way again,” he said yesterday afternoon.

On June 23, Friday announced his intention to move a motion which included two resolutions that called for government senator, Ashelle Morgan to withdraw from the sittings of the House pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations relating to the shooting of Diamond resident, Cornelius John; and for Morgan to be suspended from sittings of the House, should she refuse to withdraw.

In that same week, Morgan was charged with assault with the intent to commit wounding in respect of a complaint by John.

And on June 29, she issued a media release outlining her intentions to proceed on one-month’s leave from the House of Assembly pending the outcome of the matter. Her leave was granted by the Speaker of the House, Rochelle Forde.

When the Speaker called the motion standing in the name of the opposition leader, she observed that Friday was not in the Chamber. She noted that she had not received in writing any notification that another member of the opposition had been named to move the motion. She therefore cited Standing Order 30, which says: “if a member does not move a motion or amendment which stands in his name when he is called on, it shall be removed from the order paper unless some other member duly authorised by him in writing moves it in his stead”.

She told the House “I have no such indication. I therefore, rule that this motion is removed from the order paper.”

The opposition leader told SEARCHLIGHT that his absence in relation to the motion was unintentional as he expected to have been back in the House before it was called.

“But circumstances as they were, were very fluid on the street, I don’t control how fast people answer their questions and so forth in the Parliament and it arose, but at that time, when it was on the order paper, the objective was obtained and so it was unlikely to be debated at that time, but a motion can be filed at any time, should the need arise,” Friday said.