St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The leader of government business in Parliament, Minister Eugene Hamilton, has taken to the House what he describes as a rude and disrespectful comment about Speaker Michael Perkins on social network, more specifically on the Facebook page of Opposition parliamentarian Konris Maynard.
“Twenty one hours ago, a post was made a member of this parliament, the honourable gentleman for constituency number three, and he concluded this post with a statement that says “while the government in collusion with the Speaker, perpetuates this fraud in order to silence the opposition, the people’s business is left unattended.”
Minister Hamilton quoted in parliament Thursday (Feb 16) from a publication on parliamentary practice and procedure written by Erskine May, to support his argument that action should be taken against MP Maynard by the Speaker.
Considered to be the most authoritative and influential work on parliamentary procedure and British constitutional convention, the book has become part of the un-codified constitution of the UK, and is sometimes referred to as the parliamentary bible, acting as a rule book for MPs.
The Konris Maynard Facebook posting is captioned Statement from the Parliamentary Opposition on the Regular Meetings of Parliament with no scheduled public business.
According to the statement which was also read on a local radio station by MP Maynard, the National Assembly has now been convened on four occasions with no scheduled Public Business.
“This is the second meeting of the National Assembly for 2017. Both meetings had no scheduled Public Business on the Order Paper. The National Assembly has now been convened on four occasions with no scheduled Public Business. As a consequence there has been no regular debate of matters promoting the interests of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is obvious that there is no vision and no clear legislative agenda.”
Maynard goes on to describe the situation as totally unacceptable and undemocratic.
He contends too, that it is also highly insulting to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis who voted to send Representatives to Parliament to do their business.
However it is his claim at the end of the statement that has Minister Hamilton urging parliamentary action against Maynard.
“What I am saying Mr. Speaker, is that members of this parliament must understand that they have a responsibility to conform to the parliamentary rules and practices whether they are in parliament or they are out of parliament and it is contentious for any member of this parliament to go in the public square to speak or to write or reflect upon the conduct of the Speaker or any member for that matter.”
Speaker Perkins in addressing the issue, suggested that Minister Hamilton could himself initiate action on the matter through a resolution.
“I would say to you sir as leader of government business and you being the minister charged with that responsibility of leading the business of government in the parliament that such a resolution may fall to you, and I would ask you to bear that in mind as we proceed because clearly we will have to address these matters once we feel those rules are breached in this house.”