Shuman snubs at Coalition’s protest of his election as Deputy Speaker
Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party and newly appointed Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Lenox Shuman has taken umbrage to his fellow Opposition Parliamentarians who have rejected his election to the post on Tuesday.
The Coalition had walked out the mid-morning sitting of the National Assembly, saying it was in direct protest to Shuman’s election as Deputy Speaker.
Shuman, in response, considered the walkout to be an act of “showmanship.”
“It’s the first sitting and that’s the way you’re going to conduct yourself, it means you’re not looking at being constructive,” Shuman told the News Room.
Shuman told the News Room that the Coalition seems disappointed that his candidacy trumped theirs.
Shuman, a former Indigenous Chief went up against Chairman of the Alliance For Change and former Speaker Raphael Trotman for the post and secured the majority votes to be successfully elected to the position.
He was nominated by Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira while Trotman was nominated by Cathy Hughes.
Describing the move as an abomination, Hughes says this goes against a long-standing tradition and convention that the Deputy Speaker position goes to an Opposition Parliamentarian.
In response, Shuman sought to remind Hughes that he too is an Opposition MP and that he doesn’t sit on the Government side of the House. He said he also used his voice as an Opposition Member of Parliament to support the selection of Joseph Harmon as Opposition Leader.
“I don’t know what convention she is quoting or what departure from convention she is talking about but I wish to remind that I am also an Opposition member,” Shuman said.
But Hughes feels that the Government should have allowed the nomination from the substantive Coalition to stand.
She slammed Shuman for accepting the post as Deputy Speaker, saying that she does not believe he will look out for the interest of the Opposition while he also works as an advisor for the Government.
Shuman assured that in his capacity as Deputy Speaker he does not represent any side of the House; he said his position is a-political and he intends to act with neutrality.
He said too that outside of that he speaks for his constituents and represents the national interest of all persons, whether they voted for him or not.