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Jul 1, 2015

House Speaker Explains Ejection of P.U.P. Senator

Michael Peyrefitte

Senator Patrick Andrews was removed from the House at the instructions of the Speaker, Michael Peyrefitte during last Friday’s House meeting. That measure prompted the opposition representatives to walk out of the House and absent themselves from the debate of the important amendment to the Petrocaribe Loans Act. While the public is split on whether or not the walkout was justified, the Opposition maintains that it has been consistently disrespected during the sittings. Furthermore, it argues that because Andrews is a senator and not a stranger, the speaker doesn’t have the authority to remove him. This evening, the speaker responded to the Opposition in a very lengthy statement. Peyrefitte’s interpretation is that the Ordinance does not address the removal of Senators nor Members of the House during house or senate meetings. As it relates to Senator Andrews, the speaker says he took the decision to eject him because even though he is a Senator, it was in his discretion and rule pursuant to standing order ninety-one of the House to remove anyone sitting in the gallery, who refuses to remain silent during the presentation of a Member of the House. Peyrefitte also argues that while Andrews was not a stranger in the House in the strictest sense, he was in the very practical sense a stranger, because there are no special immunities or privileges that prevent him from being removed. Peyrefitte ends by saying, “He should have respected my rule and when he chose to disrespect my rule, I decided to use my general authority as the Speaker to remove him.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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