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House speaker convenes parliament as opposition walks out

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Contact:  Shanon Lebourne


Tuesday 13 September 2011 The Speaker of the House of Assembly Honourable Dr. Hilda Rose Marie Husbands Mathurin has ruled the vacant position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly will be resolved at the next sitting of the Parliament.


At the start of a Parliamentary Sitting on Tuesday September 13, the Speaker informed members that the appointment of the Deputy Speaker was not convenient because nominations to the position have not been forthcoming from either Government MP`s, Independent MP`s or Opposition MP`s.


The Speaker says the decision to allow the Parliament to convene without appointing a deputy at Tuesday’s sitting, is in keeping with the constitution of Saint Lucia.


“The constitution of Saint Lucia says that no business shall be transacted in the Parliament when the office of Speaker is vacant. The Speaker is now present and presiding and therefore the business of the people will continue.


“I am saying that the House of Assembly has given sufficient evidence that it is not convenient at this time to elect a Deputy Speaker. I want to say that I am giving notice to the House of Assembly that the election of the Deputy Speaker will be on the order paper for the next sitting.”


The position of Deputy Speaker was made vacant following the resignation of Honourable Marcus Nicholas in a letter to the Office of Parliament dated August 29, 2011.


The Speaker of the House told Parliamentarians that her decision to resolve the matter at the next sitting of the Parliament was reached based on sound advice.


“I have taken a decision after receiving advice from much Counsel in the region. The House of Parliament has put forward no nominations for Deputy Speaker so how am I to interpret that? The government has not put forward any recommendation neither the Independent or the Opposition MP`s, so therefore the House of Assembly is not prepared to appoint a Deputy Speaker at this time.”


The decision was met with stern opposition and resulted in Opposition MP`s staging a walk out at Tuesday`s sitting of Parliament.


The speaker has vowed to ensure that the situation is resolved at the next sitting of Parliament.


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