My time in Parliament is coming to an end – Speaker
Speaker of the House, Jomo Thomas has for the second time stated his intention to resign his post in the Parliament of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Thomas, in October 2019, announced at a press conference that he planned to resign as Speaker within the first quarter of 2020. And during the first session of Parliament for 2020 on Wednesday, he told parliamentarians that “my time in this chair is coming to an end”.
“I did say in October 29th press conference that I would be gone… by the end of the first quarter 2020, we are rapidly approaching that time,” Thomas said. “ I must say that in the times, all of those years — 4 years, one month, 22 days that I sit here, and if you want to take the hours, we can do like 9 hours and 52 seconds — I never came here thinking I represented anyone, anything but St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The Speaker said that he enjoyed the time he has served and described the parliamentarians as “an honourable bunch” even though they could be unruly at times.
“I tried my best, I made errors, I probably made enemies but in the end, I think I did what my conscience told me to do. I want to thank everybody who put up with me and all of my idiosyncrasies and I hope that this august body would grow from strength to strength,” he said.
At his press conference last October, Thomas also announced that he had tendered his resignation from the Unity Labour Party (ULP), noting that his relationship with the party had been a contentious one.
Up until that time, he was the ULP caretaker for the South Leeward constituency, having lost the 2015 election by 118 votes to New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate, Nigel Stevenson.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is the political leader of the ULP, was dismissive in relation to Thomas’ resignation from the party and he told SEARCHLIGHT that “a man can join a party and a man can resign”.
In Parliament this week, Gonsalves rose to his feet following Thomas’ announcement to say that whenever he demits as Speaker, “we will have to pay the usual respects given to someone who has served with us”.
“I don’t know what your own timetable is but I say that in relation to your own statement in acknowledgement of your contribution,” Gonsalves said.