St. Kitts-Nevis’s opposition leader suspended from House at first sitting for 2018
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – At the first sitting of the National Assembly for 2018 Jan. 23, the leader of the opposition in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, drew the ire of the speaker, the Hon. Michael Perkins, for “reprehensible behavior” and was asked to withdraw, followed by his naming by a member of Parliament and subsequent suspension from the House for five days.
While the leader of the opposition was presenting his personal explanation in the House, Speaker Perkins reminded him that he was to refrain from anything controversial or political, or anything that sought to impugn the character of members of Parliament. However, Douglas did not heed the speaker’s ruling and continued in defiance even when Speaker Perkins rose to his feet.
Speaker Perkins proceeded to read Standing Order 49.2: “The Speaker or the Chairman shall order any member whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the National Assembly during the remainder of the day’s sitting and may direct such steps to be taken as are required to enforce this standing order.”
Douglas was asked to withdraw immediately from the National Assembly, but further sought to challenge the speaker, prompting the speaker to tell him that he would read the other section of the Standing Order to have him removed if he didn’t withdraw forthwith.
Speaker Perkins then called on a member on the government side to exercise the right of naming the member under Section 49 (3). Speaker Perkins then proceeded to read other sections of the Standing Orders. Under 49 (4) a member was asked to move the motion that Dr. Douglas be suspended.