Opposition legislator Bishop Juan Edghill was Tuesday suspended from four sittings of the National Assembly after the government used its majority to table and pass a motion suspending him for his “gross misconduct” during the Monday’s sitting of the Assembly.
Members of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) later walked out in solidarity with Edghill, who on Tuesday had defied by the Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland that he be removed from the Chamber.
Scotland himself had signalled that Edghill would remain suspended when he told a news conference on Monday night that “the 79th sitting of the Assembly…will continue tomorrow (Tuesday). The Honourable Member Juan Edghill remains suspended”.
Following the government’s move on Tuesday, the Speaker announced the suspension of Edghill , who was prevented from entering the Parliament building on Tuesday by police officers.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who raised concern over the suspension took his seat after he was asked to do so by the Speaker, who later explained that the motion does not allow for debate and the four sitting suspension was very lenient since the Standing Orders allowed for suspension for the entire parliamentary session.
The Speaker said so grave was Edghill’s misconduct that he could have been suspended for the entire session of the current parliament.
Following the passage of the motion, legislators went back to the Committee of Supplies to consider the budget estimates.
The Speaker said he would continue from the point on Monday when the Assembly was suspended and reiterated that he would not allow on those estimates.
The Opposition legislators then sought to ask questions as the Speaker moved through the Ministry of the Presidency estimates, but the questions were not allowed with the opposition staging a walkout.