Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Deputy Speaker controversy: SLP seeks legal advice

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The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is seeking legal advice on the issue surrounding the appointment of a Deputy Speaker for the House of Assembly, reliable sources have told the Times.

A controversy over the appointment arose during the recent opening of parliament, with the SLP refusing to nominate any one of its elected members to the position.

Thereafter, the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) nominated Castries Central MP – Sarah Flood-Beaubrun.

However Flood-Beaubrun has since resigned the position to take up an appointment as Minister  in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service effective Monday, July 25, 2016.

An opposition source told the Times that the appointment of Flood-Beaubrun  by the government  as a minister represents an abuse of power and of the constitution.

“No opposition member will accept the nomination as Deputy Speaker or an appointment as such,” the source asserted.

According to the source, the Allen Chastenet administration is abusing its power to increase expenditure by taxpayers by appointing a multitude of government ministers.

Chastanet has said that the language that is used in the constitution for the Deputy Speaker is that if the Deputy Speaker resigns, then a new Deputy Speaker shall be elected as soon as is convenient.

He told reporters yesterday that his administration will cross that bridge when it reaches it.

He disclosed that it is clear that the Deputy Speaker is not required for the government or the opposition to proceed.

However the Prime Minister noted that a Deputy Speaker was required for the opening of parliament.

The opposition source told the Times that the ruling party’s attitude towards the appointment of a Deputy Speaker does not augur well for governance.


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