Categorized | National News

Speaker’s Decision “Perverse”

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna- Martin has called the decision of Speaker of the House Halson Moultirie to name and suspend her “perverse and “ironic”.


In a joint press conference held with Progressive Liberal Party Leader Phillip “Brave” Davis on Sunday at the PLP’s Headquarters, the former Transport Minister said the ruling was unwarranted and the methods Mr. Moultrie went through to substantiate his claims were unprecedented


“For a speaker who has only been in parliament for a few months, a first time MP, for him to be such an insister of the rules, he in such a most flagrant and fundamental way in ousted a duly elected member of the house in way that was contrary to those same rules he so often touts, are beyond ironic.


“I don’t have a word to describe it, but I would use the word perverse.


“I think it is important to note that the issue that I raised, that I was mischaracterized by the speaker, I was seeking to prove to the speaker that what he asserted in the previous week was not correct.


“The speaker then moved away from the official record of parliament and said he got the recordings from ZNS and he said I was behaving in a way that was disruptive, but he did not reiterate the issue I sought to raise.


“What he did was extraordinary, as he went outside the official record of parliament to support his position. He castigated the staff of the House of Assembly who have been there for years, “Mrs. Hanna Martin said.


Coming to the aid of his parliamentary colleague, PLP leader Phillip Davis said the ruling was in breach of the rules of the House of Assembly, therefore making it invalid.


“We recognize that the Speaker of the House has a supervisory jurisdiction over the house and we also realize the need for public decorum, however the House of Assembly is not a classroom; it is a high court of parliament.


“It is the freest forum in the country; so free that the constitution provides for ancient privileges, freedom of speech and freedom of arrest. This means nothing can be done to impede the right of a member to speak freely.


“The actions of the speaker in naming and suspending the member has breached that privilege of freedom speech. In making the ruling has denied the people of Englerston a voice in parliament.


“Rule 88 of the rules of procedures of the house requires a motion being made by the leader of the house, which is to be voted upon to enable suspension. To be named and suspended, the member has to be in violation of the offences set out in the rules and that violation has to be identified.


“None of that was done.


“We deem the decision of the speaker null and void as it does not comply with rules of the house. Therefore we intend to go to the House of Assembly on Wednesday morning,” Mr. Davis said.


No timeline has been given on the suspension.


Last Wednesday Mr. Moultrie named Mrs. Hanna- Martin and ultimately suspended the Englerston MP from the House of Assembly. She left the lower chamber while being reprimanded for what the Speaker called her unacceptable behaviour during parliamentary sessions.

She was backed by Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip Davis and Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper, who walked out with her as a sign of solidarity.


The scene in the House came after a heated exchange between Mrs. Hanna Martin and the Speaker over comments she made last week in reference to two Eleuthera airport workers who were fired.


These comments were ultimately expunged from the records of the House.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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