Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Allen Chastanet once again failed to grasp his opportunity to speak at a sitting of the Lower House of Assembly on Friday, April 29, 2022, after failing to catch the eye of the Speaker of the House.
The budget debate for 2022-23 looked set to come to an end with the Prime Minister receiving the green light from the Speaker to close proceedings after no other cabinet colleague had indicated a willingness to add to the debate.
However, an interruption by the Leader of the Opposition, who upon rising “on a point of order” admitted to wanting his time to debate the “very important bill”.
“It’s almost 3:00 o clock …we have not had one recess I was expecting that the leader was getting up to give us a break I see other members of the house who want to speak; I would also like my turn to speak Mr. Speaker,” said Chastanet.
According to Speaker of House, Claudius Francis, “I looked around and the only microphone that was on was the Prime Minister’s microphone. Anybody putting on a microphone now is going to make a mockery of this house and they will face the wrath of the Speaker.”
The Speaker reminded members of the clear, pellucid, and unambiguous Standing Order that they are bound by that whosoever catches the eye of the Speaker will be given the opportunity to speak. Francis asked to review security footage that will confirm him scanning the room for any such indication.
Prime Minister, Hon. Phillip J. Pierre was given the nod to continue during which time, the Leader of the Opposition opted to stage his own personal walk-out, leaving his party colleague and member for Choiseul Hon. Bradley Felix alone in the chamber.
This is the second time that the Leader of the Opposition has opted not to accept an allotted time slot resulting in a decision to not address the people of Saint Lucia while in the house.