Motion gets over 1st hurdle
(CNS): The opposition’s no confidence motion in the government has been accepted by the speaker of the Legislative Assembly, despite its submission during a meeting and not before as would normally be required. However, that is just the first hurdle for the second no confidence vote to be brought to the country’s parliament since the UDP government was voted into office. With the first procedural problem mounted the opposition leader and the independent member, who have proposed the motion, now need to get the vote on the order paper, which lies in the hands of the chair of the Business Committee – McKeeva Bush.
Obligated under the Standing Orders to facilitate opposition motions as well government business, the premier in his role as Business Committee chair cannot dismiss the motion but he can still delay the debate by putting off the motion to another sitting. At present, legislators are scheduled to meet next Wednesday 9 May to debate the referendum motion for the one man, one vote national poll.
“I am glad that the motion was accepted by the speaker,” Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, said Monday evening, “but now we have to get it on the order paper and the last time it took several months.”
All of the opposition members have said that unless the lack of confidence motion is placed at the top of the agenda for the meeting on 9 May, they will not participate in the proceedings of the country’s parliament.
“The premier is chair of the Business Committee and the UDP has the majority, which is troubling given the comments made by Mark Scotland that the UDP will not support the motion,” Miller added.
The North Side member said that Health Minister Scotland seemed unconcerned that the premier was the subject of three police investigations and that all members of the party would be standing by him and were not going to ask him to step aside.
The opposition motion, which has been proposed by PPM Leader Alden McLaughlin and seconded by Miller, calls for a lack of confidence in the government because Bush is now the subject of three police investigations. The motion, however, covers the entire government because under the constitution it is not possible to call for no confidence in the premier as only the ruling party can remove their leader.
Although doomed to failure even if the motion reaches the floor of the House, the opposition has pointed out it is the only tool they have to try and persuade the government members how untenable the premier’s position is given the circumstances. It will also provide an opportunity for the electorate to hear clearly where members of the government stand on the issue and explain their reasons for supporting the premier, despite the three investigations.
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