Speaker ends attempt by opposition PAM members to create confusion

PAM members of the National Assembly – Hon. Shawn Richards, Hon. Vincent Byron Jr. and Hon. Eugene Hamilton (photo by Willett’s Photo)

ST. KITTS, MARCH 23RD 2010 (CUOPM) – An attempt by the two rookie opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM) members in the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly to create confusion over the absence of a deputy speaker in the lawmaking body was thwarted Tuesday.

Following Prayer by the Chaplain, Pastor Lincoln Connor and before the Messages from the Governor General and Announcement by the Speaker, the nominated opposition senator, Hon. Vincent Byron on what he said was a point of order, stating that he had declined the nomination as Deputy Speaker at the opening of the National Assembly.

Leader of Government Business and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Sam Condor, MP (St. Christopher 3 – Labour) challenged the point of order as unnecessary as he was of the view that the National Assembly was out of order.

Mr. Byron continued that “there has been a news report on national radio,” but Speaker, Hon. Curtis Martin informed him, “that source cannot be used for Parliamentary Presentation. Therefore I will ask you to quickly make your point.”

Sen. Byron then asked and was informed by the Speaker that he had received a letter of resignation from Deputy Speaker, but the nominated senator continued to speak only to be told by the Speaker “to kindly have a seat.”

But Senator Byron continued to defy the Speaker.

“Senator I have allowed you to take up some of my time. I think your point has been made and we are now at the point of Announcements by the Speaker. Allow me to speak. You will have a chance to continue your presentation,” said Speaker Martin, to which Sen. Byron responded: “I do so under protest.”

Following his presentation, the Speaker was again interrupted by the Hon. Eugene Hamilton, MP (St. Christopher 8 – PAM) on the matter of the appointment of a Deputy Speaker insisting that there is a vacancy of a Deputy Speaker and one has to be appointed before any business of the can proceed.

“This is not a point of order. This is not a Court. We are in Parliament and Parliament is in order. That is not a point of order, that is not how Parliament operates,” said Deputy Prime Minister Condor. “Is the House satisfied,” asked Mr. Hamilton to which the Speaker responded: “I am satisfied.”

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