Former PM: Deputy Speaker necessary

Former Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony has asserted that the appointment of a Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly is absolutely necessary, saying that the necessity is prescribed in the constitution.

According to Anthony, there are going to be emergencies in the life of a parliament.

“You can have very lengthy sessions and the speaker may need to  have a break of some kind or another for some reason or another,” the former University of the West Indies (UWI) Law Lecturer told reporters.

Anthony, who is a constitutional lawyer by profession, explained that the Speaker can become ill or have a health issue that does not allow attendance at parliament.

The former PM said there was absolutely no doubt in his mind that the house is improperly constituted since it is clear that there is a provision which indicates that a Deputy Speaker is required for the business of the house.

He observed that in the matter, there was need to turn to practices and conventions of the past to determine how the situation is handled and  the provisions interpreted.

Anthony pointed out that  sometimes at the level of parliament not just the words of the constitution  but the practices surrounding those words ought to be considered.

He recalled that during his tenure as Prime Minister, a Deputy Speaker was always appointed from the ranks of the government.

Anthony said he believed that  there is evidence that the same was done during the tenure of former Prime Minister, Sir John Compton.

“You have to look at the history of how the provision has been interpreted and the practices s surrounding that to give  definition and meaning to the provision of the constitution,” the former PM explained.

Anthony declared that undoubtedly, the convention is  that the Speaker comes from the ranks of the governing party.

“You may recall the challenges that I faced when I  had to ask Doctor Desmond Long to serve as Deputy Speaker – he was very unhappy; the people of Anse La Raye Canaries were very unhappy : ‘Why him?’ But then we were dealing with a similar majority as the existing government – it was an 11-6 situation,” Anthony stated.

He told reporters that the problem facing Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is that he has assembled the largest cabinet ever in this country’s history.

Anthony expressed the view that Chastanet wants to appoint all his elected MPs as ministers in the cabinet.

He said  the opposition has 6 MPs and while the majority between 6 and eleven is not phenomenal like a 14-3 or a 12-5, with just 6 members, if one is lost as a result of sitting in the Deputy Speaker’s chair, in a critical moment it can weaken an already reduced opposition.

The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has said that it is  heading to court over the issue of the non-appointment of a Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

 

 

20 Comments

  1. Lubin
    February 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    We don’t have to be copy cats and follow history. Come on Mr Anthony.

    1. Anonymous
      February 20, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Are you’ll people that stupid, he is speaking facts and you’ll asking stupid questions. Every stupid decision the now PM makes affects us greatly, we the people that will duffer more not the MS. When you gave thar amount of useless and redandent ministers, is use the tax payers that it hitting hard. Cause everything keeps increase. They have get the money somewhere to pay the ministry’s.

  2. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    That should have done during your terms Of office it didn’t happen. Stop criticising
    We didn’t here from you after the election. Too late for your advice. Shame on you. Pass PM.

  3. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Where were you. After election you were too big to congratulate the winning party. Because you couldn’t believe UWP would win you bowed in shame so now we don’t really need your advice. Thank you

  4. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Why Dont u serve as deputy speaker since ure so concerned ?after all u resigned as political leader

  5. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Dr. Anthony. Why can’t the deputy speaker come from the opposition? The UWP has already chosen a speaker. You playing politics with the issue. Are there no conscientious persons within the SLP to tell you so. Apparently birds of one feather flock together. They all just like U. No conscience at all.

  6. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Dr. Anthony. If you were in office would you have chosen a speaker and a deputy from within your ministers or party? I’m sure if the UWP were still in opposition you would have clamoured for them to choose a deputy speaker. What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.

    1. John
      February 20, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      But he did have a deputy from his Party, Dr. Long, do you suffer from memory lose. For once lets stop playing politics and allow the politician to take us for a ride.

    2. Matthew Alexander
      February 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      WHERE HAVE U BEEN, IDIOT

  7. 666
    February 20, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Go and enjoy your retirement, you’ve done enough damage over the years. Anger is not good for your health.

  8. Rage
    February 20, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Anthony is a fat cuck

  9. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    And our current PM is doing an excellent job right?

  10. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    People march when gas was going down. Allen said he will sign a document for fuel prices to go down further. Country broke but money spending all over the place..etc etc…….and I know I will be labeled a labour supporter. That’s what we do here once someone points out facts, the name calling and labeling begins. How pathetic!

  11. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I am amazed by the comments made by Lubin. This is not a matter of following history. It is a matter of following the Constitution. Why do you want change just for change sake? If you want genuine change, then change the Constitution. but for as long as the present Constitution prevails, there can be nothing stale about the law. This is what the Constitution requires, subject to the prescribed rules of procedure of the House, ie, the Standing Orders. So leave history out of the equation.

  12. Anonymous
    February 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Dr. Anthony is correct. A Deputy Speaker must be appointed so that the Government can guarantee continuity in the business of the country. Furthermore, it is not prudent for Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition to field the position of a deputy Speaker because under the current circumstances, that would put the Opposition at a disadvantage, Didn’t the Government have a Deputy Speaker? Why did the Government remove that individual from the position and then turn round to the Opposition and say: Now you take the position because we don’t want it again after a few weeks? Is the Government a dictatorship? Do you expect any Court of Law to tell the Opposition: If the Government say you must take it, then you must take it. And if the Government say it wants it for itself, then it has a right to keep it for itself. So the Government can control the Opposition if it wants and when it wants. What kind of Parliament would that be?
    Finally, I believe that the open debate on this issue is completely useless, because some people just cannot understand the real issue. I therefore strongly advise the Opposition to take the matter to Court and let the ruling of the Court inform all Saint Lucians.
    N

  13. Anonymous
    February 21, 2017 at 8:29 am

    The constitution states that the house shall elect a deputy speaker not the government side the house so lets forget about what happened in the past.

    1. Anonymous
      February 21, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Then why did the government elect one in the first case. They realized that it is necessary. Other question. Why must the opposition reduce its effectiveness in parliament so that Sarah can get a ministry (salary is it true that she filed for bankruptcy). Not withstanding the constitutional requirements would actually take up the position?

  14. Anonymous
    February 21, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Those who insist that it is the entire House that must elect the Deputy Speaker must answer the following question: What if the Opposition decides after an election to nominate one of its own for the position and the Government side disagrees with the nomination ? One other question: Can you envisage the Government side nominating a Member of the Opposition to be Deputy Sperker? Why should the nomination come from the Opposition? Since we want to dispense of the conventions of the House, then let the records show that the Government side has nominated a Member of the Opposition to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker. What does the Government side retain the Speakership for itself and pass on the Deputy Speakership to the Opposition ?

  15. Anonymous
    February 21, 2017 at 11:22 am

    We must never give up past actions if those actions are Constitutional. To do so would be to assume the position that any action is good, once it represents a break from the past. Think of the many behaviours and actions we could change just for the sake of change, even though such change may represent a departure from Constitutional norms. The Constitution says, for example, that the Government is responsible for appointing the Governor-General. This has been happening since we became independent. By the reasoning of some people, let us do away with that, we don’ t have to stick with the past. Let us simply allow the Opposition side to appoint the GG. Why do we have to stick with the past? Let us modernise our approach to Governance. Yeah right!

  16. Anonymous
    February 21, 2017 at 11:44 am

    “Forget about what happened in the past” , so let the Opposition appoint the Chairpersons of Boards and Commissions? We don’t have to follow history. We don’t even have to follow the Conventions established by the Constitution. Let’ s just do ” modern” things because we don’t want to be “wassie”. I suppose some people would like that, given our propensity to say: anything ah anything. Let’s forget about Law, Order, Traditions , and Conventions. You irie with that?

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