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Jul 5, 2011

Former Clerk of National Assembly clarifies House proceeding matters

Conrad Lewis

On Monday Senator Godwin Hulse abstained from voting on the B.T.L. acquisition because the new legislation had been provided just prior to the meeting. As recent as June twentieth, the government nationalized B.E.L. and again there were complaints of last minute availability of the paper work or legislation to be decided upon by the House and Senate.  But what happens when special sittings are called at short notice? We asked a former clerk of the national assembly with long years of experience, to speak to this issue. Conrad Lewis made the differentiation between the regular and special sittings and narrowed down as to when the paper work should be provided.

Voice of: Conrad Lewis, Former Clerk of National Assembly

“In the absence of a prescribed period for recesses for the National Assembly, a regular meeting must take place on a Friday at ten a.m. Any meeting outside of that framework becomes a special sitting.”

Andrea Polanco

“What needs to be done in order for special sitting to be called?”

Voice of: Conrad Lewis

“Well you need to give notice. In relation to a regular sitting you need to give five clear working days notice. In relation to a special sitting you can call it even an hour before that actual sitting begins.”

Andrea Polanco

“Ok, it can be called at anytime, but Mr. Lewis shouldn’t there be something that says it threatens the sovereignty that it can be called at anytime, for example the hour that you said?”

Voice of: Conrad Lewis

“Good, now the timing of the meeting should be contingent on the seriousness or severity of the issue that is to be decided by the house. These arrangements, especially special sittings are usually reserved for very, very important issues, but when it comes to threat to national security, national disaster, or issues that perhaps threaten the very existence of the country then perhaps you can go to the sitting and then at that point you give members the papers or whatever that they need to approve on that particular day. But they are certain issues that might require special sitting but they should be given enough time to be able to see what needs to be discussed so that they can effectively participate in the debate. We have to differentiate in what is constitutional and what is fair and democratic. If it is something that is done in the national interest then it must be carried out to reflect that it is done in the national interest. You need time, you need consultation, and you need participation of the general public so that you can gauge what is the sentiment of the public in relation to that particular issue.”

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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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2 Responses for “Former Clerk of National Assembly clarifies House proceeding matters”

  1. Justice says:

    So what was the urgency in this/ guess just the show how powerful barrow thinks he is. Cannot wait for the day he is out!

  2. Chris says:

    One can be wishy washy about making a decision, wait for “sentiment of the public” or one can LEAD. Thank you for leading.

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