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Opposition boycotts Parliament yet again

Opposition boycotts Parliament yet again


Despite a harsh rebuke by the Speaker of the House, the Opposition remains unapologetic about its decision to boycott Parliament yet again.{{more}}

Speaker of the House, Hendrick Alexander accused the Opposition New Democratic Party of disrespecting his office by sending a faxed letter Thursday, March 27th, indicating that it was boycotting Parliament because Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has refused to step aside amidst on going sexual assault accusations made against him.

“Our country and people are hurting because of these allegations, and I call again on Prime Minister Gonsalves to step aside until the Courts resolve these matters,” the letter, dated Thursday, March 27th, stated.

The House Speaker was not amused.

“The Opposition ought to do better. It is a total disrespect for them to fax a letter to me while the House is in progress,” Alexander said.

Alexander said that the letter was received while Parliament was in session.

Alexander said that it is one thing to disrespect him personally, but the office of the Speaker of the House of Assembly must be esteemed.

However, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace dismissed the charge of disrespect for the office, while in turn accusing the Speaker of the House of being biased in the execution of his duties.

“The Speaker, over the period of time, we regard him as very biased, “Eustace said.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that as he mentioned in his letter, there has been another sexual assault action filed against Dr Gonsalves, which he claims strengthens his party’s call for him to step aside until the allegations are dealt with in court.

Dr Gonsaves is due to appear in the Family Court on April 14th to answer to this charge.

Eustace also laughed off the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament in which he dared the Opposition to miss four more hearings without the Speaker’s permission.

Dr Gonsalves said that if the opposition members stay away from Parliament for six consecutive sittings, without permission from the Speaker of the House, their seats could be vacated, under the rules of Parliament.

“I look forward to them missing four more sessions…I am particularly interested in the seat of the Leader of the Opposition,” Dr Gonsalves said.

“We are not stupid. I know the rules of Parliament,” Opposition Leader Eustace told SEARCHLIGHT. (KJ)