Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman, ready to rule on Rohee – 19th Feb 2013
The Speaker’s decision on the right of Minister Rohee to speak in the House, is due in a matter of days. The Speaker has sought advice from Guyana and overseas. At the Valentine’s Day sitting of the National Assembly, Deputy Speaker Deborah Backer, prohibited Rohee from introducing legislation in the House. That was one week after Trotman ended months of a dry spell for Rohee. Backer said her decision was based on the no-confidence vote in Minister Rohee.
The ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has accused Backer of undertaking a “coup” in the House, since at the previous sitting, Trotman, as the substantive speaker, allowed Rohee to speak.
PPP’s Gail Teixeira accused the opposition of going against its own Speaker.
Trotman today said, he would not be dragged into an argument about whether he would have allowed Rohee to introduce the Firearms Amendment Bill or not. All Trotman would say is that Backer had the full authority in the House, and that would have been the case whether she sat in as Speaker for an hour, half an hour, or even a minute.
Trotman’s ruling on the matter is due before the end of the week.
On February 7, after being restricted to his seat for months, Minister Rohee was back on his feet again in the National Assembly despite the objections of the majority-controlled House. The Opposition had moved a no-confidence motion against Minister Rohee, saying he has failed to preside in an acceptable manner over the security situation in the country. That no-confidence motion was passed on July 30, last.
The Opposition Leader is arguing that while the constitution allows any member of the Assembly to introduce laws or propose motions for debate, the constitution also provides for the National Assembly to regulate its own procedure and may make rules for that purpose.