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JAMAICA | PNP walks out of Parliament; Samuda accused of Rogue behaviour

Featured People's National Party’s (PNP) President and Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, MP People's National Party’s (PNP) President and Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, MP
KINGSTON, Jamaica, December 4, 2019: People's National Party’s (PNP) President and Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, yesterday led a walk out of Parliament after unparliamentary utterances from the Leader of Government Business, Karl Samuda echoed in the Lower House as he ascribed false motives to questions being asked by the Central Manchester Member of Parliament, Peter Bunting.

The PNP said Mr Samuda was most contemptuous in his utterances and refused to heed to the call for an apology. In fact, he rebuffed appeals to withdraw his statement and then accused the Opposition of trying to overthrow the government.

Mr Samuda’s action breached every rule of the Standing Order which has guided our parliamentary behaviour. The PNP says it expects Mr Samuda to withdraw his statement and apologize to Mr Bunting on or before the next sitting of Parliament.

This disorderly and unparliamentary conduct, the PNP said, was not rebuked or sanctioned by the Speaker who appears to have been intimidated by Mr Samuda’s language and behaviour. Unfortunately, the Speaker did not request a withdrawal of the utterances by Mr Samuda.

Mr Samuda in a cavalier and most disrespectful manner also characterized concerns raised by the staff at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) regarding the sexual harassment allegations against a board member as “suss”, and falsely suggested that M.P. Bunting was trafficking gossip.

The Party says this blatant mismanagement of the Parliamentary processes by the government and the failure of the Speaker of the House to ensure that the established Standing Orders are enforced, send a wrong signal to Jamaica and the rest of the world that the nation’s governance structures and the conduct of our parliamentary democratic system are out of control, and that there are no checks against members’ breach of the rules.

The Party says the indiscipline which was evident by the loose behaviour by some members of the House of Representatives cannot augur well for the future of the country and must be sanctioned.

The PNP is insisting that parliamentary order and discipline must be returned to the foremost law making body as only when Parliament demonstrates a high level of discipline, can lawmakers demand and expect that Jamaica can pull away from the abyss of anarchy sweeping the country as evidenced by our very high crime rate, wanton corruption and general indiscipline on our roads and in our institutions of learning.

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  • Countries: Jamaica

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