BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday March 11, 2015, CMC – The main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) says it will allow the voters to decide on the issue after Deputy Speaker Mara Thompson ruled against a motion of no confidence in the Speaker Michael Carrington being debated.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley said Thompson gave no reason for turning down the motion, but told reporters “we simply say that this is a matter for the people of Barbados”.
Opposition leaders ended a seven week boycott of the Parliament on Tuesday. They had taken their action after Carrington, a Queen’s Counsel, was ordered by the High Court ordered him to pay an elderly client over BDS$200,000 (One BDS dollar =US$0.50 cents) in outstanding monies, the proceedings from a property transaction some years ago. Subsequent to the court order, Carrington paid the client
The matter was referred to the Privileges Committee of the House for determination by Thompson, after Carrington temporarily left the chair on the day the issue was raised. He returned to the chair at the next sitting, drawing objection from the Opposition which announced its boycott.
Mottley told reporters that once the decision was made to refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges, “this is a matter on which there is no vote.”
She said the Committee completed its work over a month ago but had not submitted its report to Parliament for consideration.
“What is of particular note is that the behaviour of the Speaker, as an attorney-at-law, is governed by the legal profession code of ethics,” Mottley said, adding “those rules make it absolutely clear what kind of standards are expected of attorneys-at-law.
“Indeed, in the motion, we make it clear that the dignity and honour which is required for a person to practise as an attorney-at-law, are the same characteristics that are required for the person occupying the Chair of Speaker.”
Earlier, Mottley had defended the decision of the BLP legislators to return to Parliament, saying it could not allow the government to “ram a package of fiscal and economic measures through Parliament without our dissecting their proposals and allocations”.
Parliament is set to debate the Estimates later this month.
But Housing Minister Denis Kellman told reporters that the motion against the Speaker was a “lazy” attempt to return to Parliament.
“It is a very lazy excuse to get back in the House. How can you have a no-confidence motion against a man who you have said you would not sit down in Parliament with?” he said.