Opposition Chief Whip in Parliament, Gail Teixeira got into a heated exchange with Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland and made it known that she is in the parliament to represent the people of Guyana and not to make the Speaker happy.
“With no disrespect Sir, I am not here to make you happy. I am here to represent the people who elected us to this House”, Teixeira declared to the loud approval of her fellow Opposition Members of Parliament on Tuesday evening.
Her statement followed the Speaker’s statement that he would not be happy if Members were not to recognize and observe his rulings.
“When the Speaker says, I would suggest on a matter, is that a ruling?”, Teixeira asked.
To that, the Speaker responded that “I would want to think that if you ignore it, the Speaker will not be happy. And that if he is not happy, he will let you know. I do not understand why are we pretending that we do not understand the english language quite suddenly”.
At the time, Teixeira was seeking clarification about a ruling by the Speaker as the Opposition sought to get the Government to list the names of contract employees. The Speaker had ruled that it was not necessary for the names of the contract employees to be included in the explanations to the House by Government Ministers.
Ms. Teixeira’s contention was that the ruling appeared more like a suggestion and she would have preferred to see the ruling in writing. The Speaker said he has already ruled and members are aware of his ruling and he not say anymore on the issue.
This was not the first time that the two have clashed in the National Assembly. Last week, Ms. Teixeira stopped short of accusing the Speaker of being biased against the Opposition, as she complained that he has not been allowing Opposition members enough time to make their presentations during the debate and was constantly warning them about some of their statements in the House.
The Speaker does not appear too bothered by the concerns expressed outside of the Chamber.