Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon intends to move a No-Confidence Motion against Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, over, what the Opposition described as his biased and partisan approach in conducting the affairs of the House, particularly during the December 29, 2021 Sitting when the Government purportedly pass the Natural Resources Fund Act amid much chaos and confusion in the House.
“…his actions, both past and on December 29, 2021, the Speaker has demonstrated partiality and brought the Office of the Speaker into disrepute and public ridicule and the National Assembly into odium, as from the inception of his tenure, the Speaker has routinely shown bias against the Opposition and its Members by, inter alia, refusing to allow debates on matters of an urgent, definite and public nature, such as the SARS-COVID 19 global pandemic; the nation-wide floods of 2021; striking down, refusing debate and unjustly amending opposition questions and motions; failing to protect Opposition Members, especially female Members, from the insults, invectives and abuses of Members of the Government side; failing and refusing to offer protection to a Member of the Opposition who was physically assaulted by a Government Minister and ordering the “lock out: of elected Members of the National Assembly from the Chamber, just to name a few,” Harmon said his final whereas clause.
The Motion was submitted to Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs on Sunday night by the Opposition Leader and has been seconded by Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones.
In the initial whereas clauses, the Opposition Leader explained that on December 29, the Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh was allowed to proceed with the reading of the Natural Resources Fund Bill, notwithstanding vehement objection from the Opposition Members, who stood to gain the attention of the Speaker.
“… the Speaker failed and or refused to acknowledge the Members standing and instead, encouraged the Minister to proceed and thereby purported to allow the debate on the second reading of the Bill to proceed,” he explained.
In protest, the Opposition MPs proceeded to the “well of the Assembly” where they began to make loud noises to obstruct and prevent the purported debate from proceeding. The Government MPs subsequently entered the well, and according to the Opposition Leader, they “ostensibly encourage the Minister of Finance to proceed.”
He said it was then that the chaos erupted in full view of the Speaker, who carried on as though it was business as usual.
“…a scene of chaos erupted in the National Assembly whereby there was noise and all members were on their feet and the Speaker inexplicably, purported to allow the debate to proceed whereby Members of the Opposition were compelled to remove the mace from the dias; believing that this would stop halt all proceedings,” Harmon said.
According to him, it was incumbent on and imperative for the Speaker to halt the proceedings and restore order in the National Assembly but he failed to do so.