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Speaker denies refusing to let parliamentarian extend condolences

Speaker denies refusing to let  parliamentarian extend condolences

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Speaker of the House of Assembly Hendrick Alexander has called for persons to be accurate and truthful when reporting on matters that take place within the House.

Alexander made this call at Tuesday’s sitting of Parliament, where he refuted having denied any parliamentarian the opportunity to offer condolences to the relatives of a deceased person.{{more}}

“I wish to say frankly that I did not refuse anyone permission to do condolence to anybody’s relative. You all know that when you have to make such presentations that you notify me in advance and if you don’t do that, it is likely that you will not get the opportunity,” the Speaker said.

“I had the occasion last Tuesday to refuse the Honourable Senator [Linton] Lewis of that duty because he did not indicate to me as every other person in this Honourable House.”

On August 4, Lewis had risen in Parliament, during Obituaries, to convey condolences when Alexander objected by saying “No sir, I have no prior notice of your intent.”

When Lewis questioned whether he should have given notice, the Speaker told him that the protocol was established many years ago. The Speaker also answered in the affirmative to the question of whether other members of Parliament had given prior notice to speaking during the Obituaries section on that day.

“He (Lewis) did not indicate to me that he wanted to make any such presentations and for someone to say to a man who is very much bereaved, having lost that important dear one to him, to give him that impression, that information is very much misleading and is not all in keeping with what you should be doing to someone who has lost such a dear one at that particular time,” Alexander said this week.

“I want to make it clearer that if we are reporting things…that take place in this House, let us try and do it accurately, let us speak the truth and say what is being done.”(BK)

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