Edghill further suspended from National Assembly
Opposition Member of Parliament, Juan Edghill will not be allowed to sit in the National Assembly when business resumes on January 10th, 2018. According to a statement from the People’s Progressive Party, this is according to a letter it received that the Parliament Office made a mistake in calculating when the suspension commenced.
The PPP condemned the move noting that the motion presented on December 12, 2017, by Government’s Chief Whip, Amna Ally for the suspension clearly states that the conclusion date for Edghill’s four days of suspension was December 15, 2017.
It was pointed out that the motion would have had the approval of the Speaker of the House, Dr. Barton Scotland before being tabled, therefore, there was no need for the Speaker’s intervention to interpret the motion as to when the suspension began and ended.
The PPP also noted that Edghill received a letter from the Clerk of the National Assembly on the day the motion was passed informing him of the decision.
“This arbitrary interference in the interpretation of a Member’s, in this case, a Minister’s, motion in keeping with SO 47 (3) (a) is totally unacceptable and smells of crass vindictiveness,” the opposition said.
The Party said despite the “unruly and disruptive behaviour” of the combined APNU and AFC during their time in Opposition, no member was ever treated in this manner.
“The legacy of the 11th Parliament is one of consistent undermining of the Standing Orders and interference by the executive in the role and functions of the National Assembly. This is just another example in what is fast becoming a voluminous dossier on the threats to parliamentary democracy in Guyana,” the PPP said.
However, the PPP emphasized that they will not be daunted.
Edghill was suspended after he refused to honour an order of the Speaker during the 79th sitting of the National Assembly to take his seat as he attempted to ask questions on a specific line during the consideration of estimates of the 2018 National Budget.
This saw the Speaker leaving the House without adjourning the sitting and the opposition holding a sit-in until 22:00hrs on that day (December 11, 2017).
On December 12, 2017, Edghill was prevented from entering the Parliament Buildings and arrested at approximately 100 feet from the gates of the Parliament compound. He was subsequently released.
Wednesday’s sitting of the National Assembly is Private Members day.