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Jan 11, 2017

Julius Espat Apologizes, Paves Way for Return to House

News Five has learnt that at Friday’s‘ sitting of the House of Representatives,  party whip and Area Rep for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan, will be presenting a motion for the return of Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat to the lower chamber. That motion will be voted upon and all things going well, Espat will be back in the House by the following sitting, likely at the end of January or early February. This deal, we are told, was brokered on January third, when Finnegan and Espat met with the incoming Speaker of the House, Laura Longsworth. Espat wrote a letter to Longsworth saying he regretted the unfortunate incident and expressed respect for the chair. So all things considered, the expectation is that Espat should be back in Parliament, though not at Friday’s sitting. The outspoken area rep was ejected by law enforcement officers from the House and suspended last August.  During a speech on the adjournment he criticized Government’s actions in the matter of the Immigration Audit Reports and in the process was alleged to use unparliamentary language. Then-Speaker Michael Peyrefitte called on a member to “name” Espat, which Minister Wilfred Elrington did, and he was dragged from the chambers by Police. Espat subsequently challenged the suspension, but the Supreme Court decided that it will not meddle in the affairs of parliament or the executive because of the separation of powers. The P.U.P’s senior parliamentarian, Said Musa, was unable to convince Peyrefitte to re-instate Espat under a privilege motion at the House’s last sitting in December. But manoeuvring by Finnegan and the P.U.P.’s senior leadership, Espat has a chance to represent his constituency fully in the near future.

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