President David Granger has defended House Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland as being “mature and experienced”, in the face of growing criticism from the opposition People’s Progressive Party.
The President has expressed enormous satisfaction with the work being done by Speaker Scotland and described the PPP’s arguments as predictable.
The Speaker, during the recent budget debates and soon after, came under fire from PPP Members of Parliament who raised objections to the way he has been managing the House.
Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira has been leading her party’s charge and expressed little confidence in the Speaker’s ability to uphold the constitution and parliamentary democracy.
She said the Speaker’s attitude towards PPP Members, including Opposition Leader Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has been disrespectful and smacks of bias. She accused him of belittling PPP MPs with his sarcasm and said the party was unhappy with the manner in which he speaks to them.
But Mr. Granger is not willing to accept the PPP’s sentiments. “He is not partisan. The opposition is doing what they do and regardless of what happens they will find something to complain about,” the President said in a recent interview.
“I think the speaker is mature and experienced. He is a member of the legal profession, he is aware of standing orders and on matters that he is unfamiliar he consults the Clerk, so the complaints from the opposition are expected. I have seen no evidence that the Speaker has breached laws or Standing Orders in the National Assembly,” he added.
Dr. Scotland was nominated and support by the ruling APNU+AFC coalition for the Speakership. The PPP has refused to name one of its members to occupy the Deputy Speaker position. (Kurt Campbell)