Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman appears perturbed that President Donald Ramotar in his Address to the Nation on Tuesday indicated that the National Assembly will be reconvened for its first post recess Sitting on Monday, November 10.
In a release issued on Wednesday morning, the Speaker said the President has no constitutional power to reconvene the National Assembly. According to Trotman, “the annual recess that runs from August 10 – October 10 is not to be confused with a prorogation or suspension of the Parliament. Therefore, as Speaker of the National Assembly I continue to insist that it was beyond the scope of the President’s constitutional authority to set a date for the House to resume sittings after the recess”.
He added that the President is not a member of the National Assembly and so any pronouncements on the sittings should have been issued and articulated by the Hon. Prime Minister who is supposed to be the Leader of Government’s business in the House.
Trotman contends that the very manner of the President’s announcement that the date of the “first post- recess sitting” will be Monday, November 10, 2014, clearly demonstrates that “once again His Excellency has been wrongfully advised into believing that the National Assembly is subordinate to the Executive, and can dictate to it when it can meet and cannot meet, and even what it should discuss and debate”.
“This is as frightening as it is tragic as it clearly demonstrates that there is not even the basic of understandings, by those who advise the President, of the three branches of Government – Executive, Legislative and Judicial, and the hallowed doctrine of the separation of powers”, he said.
President Donald Ramotar in his address to the nation announced the date of the Sitting of the National Assembly and listed several legislative matters that he wants to see be given attention. The Opposition parties have flayed the government for only now setting a date for the reconvening of the National Assembly. The annual recess ended in early October.
Meanwhile, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, is moving ahead with all preparations for the Monday Sitting.
Mr. Isaacs told News Source that he has received official notice about the Sitting from the Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and he has started all preparations.
The Assembly’s Order Paper is expected to be dispatched to all members of the National Assembly by Wednesday afternoon.
Filed: 5th November, 2014