Opposition boycotts LA
(CNS): The opposition members and the member for North Side all boycotted what they described as unlawful proceedings in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, after the premier called a meeting which the six members said was unconstitutional. For the second time in the last two months the opposition benches remained deliberately empty during the very brief meeting, as a result of the government’s decisions to bend the normal rules, orders and protocols regarding the country’s parliament. The opposition leader has written to the governor about the meeting, which was past the point of when the House should have been prorogued in order to make way for the new budget meeting.
Alden McLaughlin said in his letter to the governor that the failure of the government to prorogue the Legislative Assembly was “without question” in his purview as it was a constitutional issue.
“The conduct of the Legislative Assembly and the routine abuse of the Standing Orders and parliamentary conventions by the current government are notorious and well documented,” McLaughlin wrote, adding that he believed the integrity of the parliamentary process was being undermined as a result because they affect the ability of the opposition members to play their constitutional role in properly scrutinizing the government.
“The present situation of no budget having yet been presented with only 2 weeks left in the current fiscal year is but another very grave example of the unrelenting downward spiral in the state of governance in these Islands. Arguably, these are all matters which are within your constitutional remit as governor," he wrote.
McLaughlin pointed out that at a Business Committee on Thursday there was no news on when the budget session would be called, just two weeks away from the end of the financial year.
Instead, the premier told the committee that a 6th meeting of the 2011-2012 session of the Legislative Assembly would be held Friday morning.
“No reasonable explanation was provided to the Committee as to why the State Opening was not proceeding and no date was given to members as to when the Budget would be ready for presentation,” the opposition leader wrote to the governor. “When pressed, the Premier would only say that 'the budget was in the hands of our lords and masters'."
McLaughlin set aside the inadequate notice to members as well as the concerns about when the budget would be delivered, but said that above all the Friday's meeting was unconstitutional. Sections 83 and 84 of the Constitution say there must be at least one session of the Legislative Assembly in every calendar year and the governor, should prorogue the Legislative Assembly annually.
As the House was last prorogued on 20 May 2011 and the last session of the Legislative Assembly was proclaimed on 23 May, it should have been prorogued by 22 May this year.
“That has not been done and the 2011-2012 session has expired since by virtue of section 84 of the Constitution the Legislative Assembly is required to be prorogued at least annually,” he wrote.
Ezzard Miller pointed out that he was forced to boycott proceedings, otherwise he would be condoning the unconstitutionality of the meeting and described it as a “sham” and totally unnecessary.
The House was adjourned this morning (Friday 15 June) after Bush made two speeches, presented a report on the term limits and moved a motion that the current government bills from the 2011/12 session be carried over to the next. However, the premier has not given a date for when the Legislative Assembly’s new parliamentary year will begin with the presentation of the budget.
Although the UDP government has left its budget presentation until the eleventh hour each year since coming to office, this time the administration may even fail to make the 30 June deadline, which could present a genuine financial crisis for the running of government from 1 July. With no appropriation law passed, it will not be able to pay bills, salaries or meet any other financial obligations as it will not have the legal authority to spend public money.
See opposition leader’s letter to the governor below.
|Letter to Governor re Prorogation of the LA (1).doc||168.5 KB|
- Scholarship Fundraiser
- Great Priced North Coast Sandy Beach Lot for Sale
- Original brand new apple iphone 5 64gb,32gb,16gb,Samsung Galaxy S3,S4
- Beautiful Cayaman Style Home
- for sale: samsung galaxy s4, apple iphone 5
- 2004 HONDA FIT
- 2004 HONDA FIT
- Walkers Rd condo for Rent - Poincianas
- Pups for sale
- SHORT TERM RENTAL
The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of CNS or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by CNS. Read more
- education minister Tara this
5 min 57 sec ago
- Roy need to realise that we
13 min 58 sec ago
- Are they still doing
18 min 9 sec ago
- TARA! With you we finally
27 min 31 sec ago
- If she really wanted it and
34 min 32 sec ago
- Country First, As an
37 min 40 sec ago
- I think that Tara is capable
44 min 34 sec ago
- Commonwealth Parliamentary
50 min 56 sec ago
- Clearly Roy has to be his own
52 min 32 sec ago
- Because if she wanted it she
54 min 4 sec ago