By Loshaun Dixon
The Honorable Eugene Hamilton ,Leader Of Government Business In the National Assembly. has confirmed to The Observer on Thursday that his team unity government will schedule for hearing a motion of no confidence against Speaker of the National Assembly the Hon. Michael Perkins filed by the opposition St.Kitts nevis Labour Party as quickly as possible.”
‘Any motion properly filed will be heard by the Parliament as urgently as possible”.Mr Hamilton continued ,”We will follow the Constitution and the practices of the London House Of Common.”
Her Majesties Royal opposition in the Federal Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis announced that it filed the Motion of No Confidence.
Speaking on the adjournment on the closing of Parliament Tuesday afternoon, Konris Maynard Representative for Constituency Three said, “I wish to inform the general public that Leader of the Opposition, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, representing the members of the Parliamentary Opposition has filed a Motion of No Confidence in the Speaker of the National Assembly.”
Mr. Maynard urged the Parliament to deal with the issue as a matter of emergency and have it heard as soon as possible.
The Opposition for some time had multiple rifts with Mr. Perkins ever since he was Deputy Speaker and did not favor his appointment when he was elevated to the post following the resignation of Franklin Brand.
Last week Opposition Senator Nigel Carty was booted out of Parliament during the budget debate while making a presentation after he allegedly laughed while the speaker was giving a ruling on a matter.
Mr. Perkins was ruling on a matter where Mr. Carty had mentioned an issue relating to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), something Parliamentarians are not allowed to discuss. Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris stood on a point of order, to rebuke Carty’s actions when the incident occurred.
“A member rose on a point of order, I was ruling, I was about to rule or I had begun to rule on the point of order and you chose to laugh at what I was saying. I find that to be grossly disorderly…and I’m applying section 49(2)…I’m asking you to immediately withdraw from the National Assembly for the rest of the day’s sitting…I find your act of laughing at the Speaker is totally and utterly disrespectful,” Perkins stated.
Carty’s dismissal prompted other opposition members to walk out of the remainder day’s proceedings in protest and later issued a statement indicated that they were boycotting the rest of the budget proceedings.
Perkins said that as he considers the proceedings of Parliament to be part of the public business, he feels duty bound to limit what he says about the Motion of No Confidence. He added it would be handled in accordance with the Rules of the House. In the matter of the ejection of Senator Carty, he invited members of public to view the video footage of the incident and judge for themselves whether the Senator laughed at him as he gave his ruling
Senator Carty said, “We continue to lament the dragging of the DPP out of office.’
T he PM rose on a point of order saying, “.For us to be engaged with a matter to do with the DPP is bringing unnecessary scrutiny with respect to the office of the Court. There was no DPP that was dragged anywhere.”
The Prime Minister then sat down.
At this point Speaker intervened. Carty, who was standing and started to speak, sat down and was looking at the Speaker when the Speaker said “I too have a concern with the usage of the term ‘the dragging of the DPP out of office’. It was at this exact point, that Carty laughed out loudly, turning his head at the same time in the direction of his college Maynard who was seated on his left. When he finished laughing, he said something else.
Perkins immediately ruled that Carty laughed at him which under Standing Order 49 (2), he considered to be “grossly disorderly” and ordered Carty to leave Parliament for the rest of the days sitting.
The Speaker had issued a warning to the House on the adjournment the day before, saying that he would not be tolerating any more disrespect to the Chair and that he had experienced and tolerated before …
When asked about the accusations from Members of the Opposition that some of his rulings have been unfair or bias, Speaker, Perkins again invited the public to consider why these Members choose not to follow the rules of the House (under Section 48(1)) which allow for any Member to challenge or have a review of any ruling, through “a substantive motion made after notice”. He said members instead, have gone to the public and made statements that misrepresent the facts or that are false.