first_img…move dubbed as an attempt to muzzle OppositionIn what was described as an attempt to muzzle Opposition parliamentarian Juan Edghill, Government’s Chief Whip Amna Ally on the advice of the Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland moved a motion in the National Assembly to have Edghill suspended for the next four sittings.The motion came in light of Edghill’s failure to comply with the Speaker’s orders to remove from the chamber for disorderly conduct on Monday.Speaker of the House, Dr Barton Scotland“Mr Speaker, following the gross disorderly conduct of Honourable Member Juan Edghill on the 79th Sitting of Parliament, I wish to refer this National Assembly to Standing Order 47(3). I wish to move that this member be suspended from the service of the Assembly for the next four sittings of this Assembly, which is December 15, 2017. I thank you,” Ally said.Standing Order 47(3) states, “Whenever a Member has been named by the Speaker or the Chairperson, then if the offence has been committed in the Assembly, the Speaker shall call upon a Minister to move “That Cde / the Hon Member Mr /Ms… be suspended from the service of the Assembly.” The Speaker shall put the question on such motion forthwith, no seconder being required and amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed. If the offence has been committed in Committee, the Chairperson shall forthwith suspend the proceedings of the Committee and as soon as the Assembly has resumed, shall report the circumstances, whereupon the procedure provided for in the proceeding sub-paragraph shall be followed; and if any such motion be carried, and a Member be suspended, his or her suspension on the first occasion shall continue until the expiration of the fifth day, and on the second occasion shall continue until the expiration of the tenth day on which the Assembly sits after the day on which he or she was suspended, and on the third or any subsequent occasion until the Assembly resolves that such suspension be terminated.”Prior to the passage of the motion, Dr Scotland said that the four sittings’ suspension was as lenient as it got, referencing Edghill’s actions, which resulted in the Committee of Supply being forced to suspend consideration of the 2018 estimates on Monday.Ranks of the Guyana Police Force stand guard outside Parliament on Tuesday“I draw to your attention that Honourable Member Juan Edghill behaved in an extraordinarily unacceptable manner, disregard the directions of the Speaker and making it clear that he will follow his own determinants other than the Speaker’s direction. The consequence of that conduct meant that no work took place yesterday (Monday) afternoon; the result is that all the hours of work still remain to be tended to. The conduct of Honourable Member Juan Edghill is unprecedented…,” the Speaker said.“Honourable Member Juan Edghill remains suspended. That Standing Order for which reference is made is a Standing Order, which authorises penalty that goes to the end of the session. So grave is that conduct so that allowing the person the benefit of four additional days’ suspension is the most lenient that it can be treated,” Dr Scotland added.However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo rose on a point of order to voice his dissatisfaction with the motion, but was refused the opportunity to do so by the Speaker.“We just heard a motion. I just wish to record significant dissatisfaction with what you just said in this House. You spoke about the unprecedented behaviour of Juan Edghill, but you did not speak about the unprecedented presence of Police in this House who assaulted people that you yourself said that you did not invite into this House. We believe that this is an attempt to muzzle, to muzzle Juan Edghill because of the nature of his questioning,” Jagdeo said while being told to take his seat.Edghill remains suspended until December 15.last_img