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Chastanet Calls For Resignation Of House Speaker Over Privileges Committee Matter

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Leader of the Opposition and Parliamentary Representative for Micoud South Allen Chastanet has called for the resignation of House of Assembly Speaker Claudius Francis.

This follows last week’s High Court victory by Chastanet in a case involving The Speaker.

Last October Francis announced that Chastanet should appear before the Privileges Committee of the House to answer contempt complaints by two government Ministers, Tourism Minister Ernest Hilaire and Housing Minister Richard Frederick for statements he had made against them.

Chastanet filed an injunction in the High Court to restrain Francis from going ahead and hearing the complaints.

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At a hearing before Judge Shawn Innocent both parties agreed that Speaker Francis had no power to refer to the Committee of Privileges any complaint made by a Member of the House of Assembly against another Member in respect of privilege or contempt.

King’s Counsel Garth Patterson in association with Mark Maragh and Mrs. Taylor Laurayne, Attorneys-at-law, appeared for Chastanet while Ms. Renee St. Rose, Attorney-at-Law, represented the Speaker.

Judge Innocent declared the referrals by Speaker Francis to the Privileges Committee to be null and void and of no effect. He then ordered the Speaker to pay to Chastanet his costs for the claim and of his application for the injunction.

Chatanet today welcomed the outcome of the case indicating that it was in line with his own position which had been communicated to Francis by his legal team at the time the complaints were made against him.

Added Chastanet: “It is clear that the Speaker grossly miscalculated, assuming powers that clearly he did not have. By his careless act he has tarnished the position of Speaker as well as forcing the government to bear the cost of the Court action, which I believe may run into several thousand dollars. The government must feel embarrassed by this turn of events and in the circumstances Speaker Francis, who has in the past boasted about his desire to see that the House does not descend into disrepute, should do the honourable thing and tender his resignation.”

SOURCE: Office of the Leader of the Opposition

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  1. Imagine four bowlers bowling to chas at the same time and chas hit all four for six. A man they were coming not too bright PM. What a bunch of jokers we have as politicians. Smh.

  2. Chastanet, have you heard of the phrase appellate court? If so, then the case can go to the court of appeal. You may have won round one but the battle isn’t over. You may have had a sympathetic judge but the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.

  3. Ras Biko please try to cure your Red Eye disease. The judgement was laid down based on the law not sympathy. Yes he could appeal but at what cost to the country. Every lawyer in the land knew that the speaker was over stepping his boundaries and not even a bias Appeal Court will rule in his favour. I hope that he and the government lick their wounds and do not put the country in additional expenses over an unwinnable case.

  4. I want to ask “what is the relevance of this Privilege Committee “. If this Committee carries no weight, why is it part of parliament?
    I would like the parliamentarians to remove this piece of legislation with immediate effect.
    No why is the case for the No Deputy Speaker not completed.
    Need answers.

  5. It is not the duty or responsibility of the ruling party to provide a Deputy Speaker. Which party will you charge?


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