Husbands-Mathurin speaks on Deputy Speaker controversy

Former Speaker of the Saint Lucia House of Assembly, Rosemary Husbands-Mathurin, has asserted that according to the constitution, once a Speaker of the House of Assembly is in place meetings of the house are valid.

Husbands-Mathurin made the comments against the backdrop of the ongoing controversy over the non-appointment of a Deputy Speaker, a matter which the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is in the process of challenging in court.

“I think even the law says that, once there is a quorum and there is a chair then the meeting is valid,” Husbands-Mathurin told reporters yesterday.

She said it would be beneficial if there is a Deputy Speaker so that the business of the house can continue in the event that the Speaker is unavailable.

“One has to wait until, as the constitution says, it is convenient for all parties involved to name a Deputy Speaker,” the former Speaker asserted.

Asked about the opposition’s court challenge, Husbands-Mathurin declared that it was incumbent on the opposition SLP to name a Deputy since all parties should be part of the process.

The SLP has made it clear that it will not nominate any of its 6 elected MPs for the position.

Former SLP leader, Doctor Kenny Anthony, who is a Constitutional Lawyer by profession, has argued 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 noted that traditionally, the Deputy Speaker has been appointed from among the ranks of elected MPs on the government side and explained that for the opposition to provide a Deputy would diminish its voting power in the event that a crucial matter were to come before the house.

Anthony has asserted that without the appointment of a Deputy Speaker, the House of Assembly is improperly constituted.

Rosemary Husbands-Mathurin told reporters that it was unfortunate that the business of the house has to be conducted without a Deputy Speaker, but said it does not affect the business of the house.

She recalled that during her tenure as Speaker the opposition had walked out of parliament.

“I called on the government : ‘Please nominate your deputy’. I called on the Independents – at that time we had two Independents – Jeannine Compton as well as Marcus Nicholas, who before that was the Deputy Speaker and had resigned,” Husbands-Mathurin said.

She noted that there were no nominations forthcoming.

“So I continued with the business of the people – that is the important thing, there is someone in the chair, there is a quorum – let us continue with the business of the people,” the former house Speaker stated.

 

24 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    March 1, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Exactly u only need a deputy speaker only when the speaker of the house in unavailable sooooo why the big fus uh,! O please s pl

  2. Amie dodo
    March 1, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    O please give Allen m chaste net a change its only ,7 months and plus u have to wait for the budget

  3. seious
    March 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    You know on this matter of taking the deputy speaker issue it does appear to me the opposition is only half convincing that the position it holds is correct. For this I am convinced and predict they will not take the matter to court. What they saying now is nothing more than a sham and charade. You mark my word.

    1. Anonymous
      March 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Seriously, Waiy and see.

      1. Anonymous
        March 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm

        Wait

  4. vale charle
    March 1, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Let us suppose the Speaker wants to pee while members are debating the budget what happens then?

    1. Anonymous
      March 1, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      There should be a hole in the chair with a pot cha under it,Simple.

      1. Anonymous
        March 1, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        POT CHAMB

    2. Anon1
      March 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Not really a valid scenario to put to this debate.

      If she wants to pee they have a 5 – 10 minute break.

      The scenario you should have posed was what if the House is debating a Bill and the Speaker is suddenly taken ill and has to be hospitalised.

      What happens then? Maybe an adjournment!

  5. Mad person
    March 1, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    She will pee on herself of cause

  6. Sad-But-True
    March 1, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    I pray Evil Chastanet continues his destruction. You slaves love defending your S.lave mas.ter.
    Amen!

    1. smh
      March 1, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Lol lol you are the life of the comments section. Keep it up.

  7. Anonymous
    March 1, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Mathurin you are just like them !!!! you are a law breaker. I hope when the high Court rules you will go wash your face. Anyway it was your father that sold the lands in Roseau to Ausbert at the cheap rate. It was your uncle as AG and DPP that try to put Odlum, Josie and many of us in jail for getting on PM Compton case. You are cut from the same cloth.!!!!

    1. Anon1
      March 2, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Anonymous March 1, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      If you’re going to be direct with your above comment why didn’t you leave your name!

  8. wow
    March 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Wow don’t we look beyond the messenger and consider the message.? Kenny says they don’t want to hv less voting power OMG. Well if is so important to hv a deputy speaker and u Kenny and ray charles are so patriotic and want what’s best for the country do the best thing and nominate 1 of u all to be deputy speaker. Clearly to Chastanent n the rest it si so important to continue the business of the house. And that being said the business of the house has continued thank god without a deputy speaker. SO what’s f…..g noise about that we NEED IT. CLEARLY WE DON’T. This enny guy always going to court but he did nothing to change our ageing constitution as a trained constitution lawyer. SMBH

  9. Anonymous
    March 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    WOW for true, you sound so much like Rick Wayne but I think Wayne would have written this much better than you did.

  10. Anonymous
    March 1, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    I suggest that the current Speaker resign and that the Government allow the Opposition to nominate one of its own to be Speaker. After all, there is no law that says that the Speaker must come from the Government side. And by the way, are we forgetting that this Government had nominated a Deputy Speaker and that the entire House said “Aye” to this nomination. So didn’t the whole House support the election of that Deputy? Why do people now talk about the Opposition electing the Deputy because the responsibility to do so is that of the entire House.? But the entire House had already done so! Did anyone say “No” to Sarah’s nomination. Didn’t the “Ayes” have it? So the next question is: why did the Government remove Sarah from the position and, instead of nominating another Member, turn to the Opposition and say: Now, it’s your turn to nominate one of your own, and we will use our majority to make your nomination stick. But we are blocking all holes to prevent you from nominating one of us, because we are all Ministers. So you will have to take the job for yourself, and all we are prepared to do is to make your nominee win unopposed.. Finally, the former Speaker must explain why our Constitution demands the election of the Deputy Speaker only for the opening of Parliment, just for a few hours, and then allows that person to resign the same day and the House go on for five years without a Deputy Speaker. Please explain.

  11. Anonymous
    March 2, 2017 at 12:08 am

    The Constitution does not guide the operations of the House. That job is left to the Standing Orders. So what do the Standing Orders say? I know that the Constitution defers to “the prescribed rules of procedure” of the House, when it comes to operational issues. See, for example, what the Constitution says about a Member losing his or her seat in the House, for failing to attend meetings of the House. And when you have read the Constitutional guidelines on this matter, see what the Standing Orders say. We have to be guided by the proper references.

  12. deleted
    March 2, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Well, since business’s can go on without a Deputy, and since the country is broke, let us do away with all Deputy Chairpersons of Boards and Statutory Corporations, all Deputy Chairpersons of Constituency Councils, including the Deputy Mayor, and all Vice Principals of schools. And while we are about it, let us abolish the position of Deputy Governor-General, and the position of Deputy Permanent Secretary. That way, we can save a lot of money a d reduce the pressure on the Consolidated Fund.

  13. deleted
    March 2, 2017 at 12:32 am

    You know, we can make a joke out of this episode. I suggest that at the next meeting of the House, a Member on the Government side should nominate a Member of the Opposition to be Deputy Speaker. The nomination does not have to come from the Opposition side. But I am persuaded the believe that the Opposition Member nominated will decline. So I further suggest that a Member of the Opposition should turn round and nominate a Member on the Government side to be Deputy Speaker. At that point, I suspect that the Speaker will jump in and advise the Opposition Member that his nomination is out of Order, because the person he has nominated is a Minister and such a person, under the rules of the House, that is the Standing Orders, cannot be nominated. Wouldn’t this be comical ? And whose responsibility is it to avoid or prevent such comical manifestations? You mean to tell me that all the Government side wants is the Speakership and not the Deputy Speakership? Why can’t the Government side take the Deputy Speakership and allow the Opposition to take the Speakership?

  14. sharonterrell
    March 2, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Since having a Deputy speaker of the house so important to the Opposition then they should just choose one of their ministers.Because who’s in control of the house.You don’t like where you live then move.its my house lol.

    1. Anon1
      March 2, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Since when an Opposition can have Ministers!!!!

      By making a comment like that it shows you know nothing or hardly anything about the system.

      Ministers are in the Government of the day.

      Opposition are MPs – Members of Parliament.

  15. Anonymous
    March 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Foolish comment. the Opposition do not have Ministers. And you should not encourage the majority to take advantage of the minority. Even the Constitution forbids this. And the rules tell the Speaker that he or she must never allow the Government side to take advantage of the Opposition. Please read all the rules of engagement before you comment. Cool?

    1. Anon1
      March 2, 2017 at 9:49 am

      You always get foolish comments from foolish people.

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