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Jan 8, 2021

House Speaker Val is in Control!

Valerie Woods

Maintaining order in the House of Representatives, amid the constant verbal exchanges across the floor, has always been a challenge.  Despite being regarded as the honorable house, Parliament has long been the venue for heated interactions between the government and its opposition.  Today was no different, even though it was the first working session since the National Assemblys ceremonial opening in December.  In restoring a sense of calm, House Speaker Valerie Woods stuck to her guns during a spat between Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat, Prime Minister John Briceño, and Opposition Leader Patrick Faber.  It was the first test of the presiding officers mettle, and Woods wasted no time establishing that she was in control of the house. Heres how Madam Speaker diffused it.

 

Valerie Woods, House Speaker

“One second, honorable Prime Minister.  It is not lost on me that the first session of parliament after the type of election that was won would not necessarily be an easy one to preside over.  So let me make some clarifications now in order that we can proceed with todays session.  The office of the clerk should have informed the member for Mesopotamia, I was informed that that was done, that the questions would be moved over to the regular sitting.  For any special sitting, that will be the direction that I take from time to time, dependent on the environment that were in.  So where we can reduce time but not ever disenfranchise any members right to ask questions by simply moving it, for which I am authorized to do to a regular sitting, I so will.  On the matter of parliamentary language, let me be very frank.  As the nation is extremely aware, as much as all of us are, that this is a situation that were all gonna have to work together on because it has happened time and time again.  I have asked before to please be careful with the language.  It is totally understandable that members in a first session of a parliament will want to express themselves and ministers of government, as is allowed, do have that right to present statements from their ministerial portfolios.  I will ask all members again for your kind cooperation regarding parliamentary language.”


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