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Claudius Francis Sounds Warning, Declares He Will Not Allow Chaos In Parliament

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House of Assembly Speaker Claudius Francis has warned against chaos in the parliament, declaring that he would not allow it.

” I will not allow this house to be deliberately and calculatedly brought into chaos because there are those in and out of this Chamber who believe I lack certain authority,” Francis asserted on Friday.

Earlier this week, Francis announced to the House that he was considering discontinuing live broadcasts and would rule on the issue when the parliament reconvened.

His announcement came after a fiery session, including an exchange with opposition leader Allen Chastanet.

During the exchange, Chastanet, MP for Micoud South, refused to sit down when Francis repeatedly indicated that he should.

The House Speaker eventually addressed the Government Information Service (GIS) crew, telling them he had the authority under the Standing Orders to turn off their cameras.

His remarks triggered public debate regarding whether he had overstepped his authority.

Chastanet’s United Workers Party (UWP) accused Francis of attempting to suppress parliamentary transparency.

However, during Friday’s House sitting, broadcast live, Francis told the Chamber he knows what he can and cannot rule.

“Having checked the relevant legal and other authorities, I certainly know how far my own authority and responsibilities extend,” he stated.

Francis said since becoming Speaker, he has only acted on the authority the Standing Orders and the Privileges Act give him.

He recalled that on Tuesday, he ruled against a point of order raised by the Leader of Government Business, who immediately but respectfully disagreed.

“But he just as quickly took his seat,” the Speaker noted.

“Two days later, he has not even raised the issue with me, which he could do in his capacity of Leader of Government Business, and for this, I applaud him,” Francis told the House.

He said there was no dispute regarding the population’s need to know and follow what transpires in ‘the people’s House’.

“But never let it be believed that a live broadcast is a right. It is not,” Francis asserted.

He recalled that he was the one who removed the barriers placed by a former member and put on loudspeakers outside, dulled by a previous administration.

“It is this Presiding Officer who has a history of defending freedom of the press,” Francis said.

“I do not have any beef with any individual member of this House, including the Leader of the Opposition. In fact, I go further to say I share an excellent outside-of-the-house relationship with the Leader of the Opposition,” the Speaker explained.

Francis said it was never his intention to interfere with the people’s need to know.

“But we shall proceed with the clear understanding that I will not tolerate the disrespect I have allowed,” the Speaker noted.

He recalled that the opposition leader’s mobile telephone rang on three separate occasions during Tuesday’s sitting.

Francis said had he acted under the House rules, there would have been confiscation of the phone, and the opposition leader would have been asked to pay a fine.

“I did not intervene,” the Speaker explained.

“So I don’t know where my beef is with the Leader of the Opposition,” Francis told the House.

Nevertheless, he  said disrespect to the Chair which has been evident, would not continue.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Because the 43% call him unkle he believes he has the right over the rest of us.
    We have to tell him this is not true.
    He is not an example to st. Lucians. Untruths is all he knows.

  2. “I go further to say I share an excellent outside-of-the-house relationship with the Leader of the Opposition,” the Speaker explained.” you hear that but you idiots out there want to kill each other for color and party bunch of retarded idiots. i will hear yall in the comments section barking. After all this noise the fellas going and get it good by a bar. i think the only one that takes things personally is frederick.

  3. Considering stopping live broadcast. So much for transparency and pellucidity. Maybe the St. Lucian people are not deserving of this favor. Perhaps it shows too many shortcomings. Just probably it reveals the emperor has no clothes beneath the robe.

  4. In my opinion this man should not be involve in the politics of our nation . It was Compton the so called father of the nation who made him a senator and a minister of tourism

  5. This Speaker continuously brings this noble position into disrepute. The nitwit always knows what rights and privileges the Speaker has and a few days later have to eat his vomit. He has lost 2 cases against Chastenet and had made several pronouncements with his usual arrogance and then have to put his tail between his legs and try to admit he is wrong. Notice I said TRY because he has never but the statements he makes after his blunders are always things like even if I didn’t follow with my threat it doesn’t mean that I can’t do it, when he knows full well he can’t.

  6. Yet when a minister on national TV endorsing violence against women , not a word from any of you. You want the house to be honorable but yet dishonorable members sit in there with no respect for them selves. Parliament. house of Parliament makes no sense.

  7. I throw my support at the speaker of the house. Indiscipline in the land must stop somewhere. We the people have tolerated too much slackness because of party affiliation. This acceptance of mediocrity is crippling the country. It comes out of the house and into the streets. We all have to be blamed for what is happening to the country today.

  8. “Francis said since becoming Speaker, he has only acted on the authority the Standing Orders and the Privileges Act give him.”

    Oh that’s why on three separate occasions rulings that you have made supposedly after similar consultation have been rescinded in some cases with you having to pay damages from state funds. Blithering Idiot that bazooka man!

    – Withdrawing salary of leader of opposition after citing Trinidad precedence- You were wrong!

    2. Trying to bring the LOO before the privileges committee- You were wrong!

    3. Suspending the LOO indefinitely from the house- You were wrong!

    I’m sure had your proceeded with your nonsense despite your supposed knowledge of your powers of the speaker, the Courts would have again proven you wrong just like the previous times!

    It’s like the guy is a referee who actually thinks that people are coming to see him at the game!

  9. It wouldn’t surprise me if those calls to Chastise were made by his operatives on purpose to distract our House. An x Pm and a leader of an opposition party should know to have his phone off during a parliamentary session which involves our business. “To err is human”. Why then did he not put the damn phone off after the first call or distraction ? Why did he set to deliberately distract our House . Where is the respect for We the People, the listeners ? One has to wonder whether the caller(s) did not know that he was conducting Our business ? We therefore have to demand respect by supporting the Speaker of the House. Don’t be a forty three per center !

  10. Indeed so kind of order is needed in the house of parliament. However, discontinuing the live broadcast of parliament proceedings is not what is needed. According to this news report, what needed to happen was the confiscating of the phone. If you did not wish to go so far, a public warning. Stopping the hate language, reminding the MPs to stick to the matter at hand or rather the issue being debated. It’s the little things that we ignore that grows to be a bigger problem.. not GIS. SMH

  11. Anonymous, I am so happy for you as a white person defending this white man. According to you he has never say lie. Wow check the records. If you respond I will list a few for you. Shame

  12. “He recalled that the opposition leader’s mobile telephone rang on three separate occasions during Tuesday’s sitting.”

    I recall when Chastenet came back to the house after your ban and there was the plan to try to embarrass him and Kenson, Virginia and another parliamentarian openly had their phones out recording the proceedings in anticipation of the execution of the “plan” you never said a word!

    Broadcast of parliamentary proceedings albeit not a right is convention similarly when your party cites convention around the order of when the LOO should speak.

    This speaker is turning out to be the worse most blatantly biased speaker ever! It was not enough to scrub and edit parliamentary proceedings, now the SLP wishes to take it further by depriving us of participating in the business of our country.

    Literally 15-2, and you wish to silence the 1 who is the voice of the 30k+ who voted for the UWP. Wow!

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