Opposition not interested in Deputy Speaker post


The Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo believes that a recent invitation by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo to select a nominee to fill the post of Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly was not in good faith.

Since the commencement of the 11th parliament in 2015, there has been no Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly. During the last week, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo for the second time invited the opposition to submit a nominee for the post.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo

Speaking with the News Room on Thursday afternoon, the Opposition Leader said the Government just wants it to appear as though it is reaching out to the other side of the House.

“This is another ploy of the Government to seem as though it is reaching out to us. They made that request some time ago and we said we’re not interested,” Jagdeo said implying that his position remains the same. He added that “in the last government when they had a one-seat majority in the House when we were in control of the executive, they decided to take both positions, why now suddenly, there’s change of heart?’”

Jagdeo said it is his view that the Government is simply ensuring that they will always have the majority in the House if there is a need for a vote during the time which the Deputy Speaker is presiding. Explaining his point, he said: “It is simply because they only have a one-seat majority so if they elect a Deputy Speaker from their side and the Speaker is out, that person has to preside so we will have equal numbers in the house.”

According to media reports, the Prime Minister said if the Opposition declines to provide a nominee from amongst its Members of Parliament, the government may consider taking appropriate steps.

He added that the business of the National Assembly could be enhanced with the vacant position being filled.

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