House Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights as she arrived for yesterday's sitting of the House of Assembly

Members of the United Workers Party (UWP) have accused the Speaker of the Hosue of Assembly Alix Boyd-Knights of using her power to push for by-elections.

Norris Prevost, parliamentary representative for the Roseau Central constituency told a press conference on Thursday after taking his Oath of Allegiance at the House of Assembly, that the speaker of the House along with other members of the Government, are only seeking to push their agenda in turning Dominica into a one-party state.

“It is important to note that it was in the hands of the speaker of the house not to put the country in that position. Because the speaker was informed of the inability of the two members to attend and the speaker has the power, she could have excused them or not excuse them,” Norris stated.

The UWP conducted a parliament boycott two consecutive times following the December 18, 2009 general elections- first on February 04, 2010, and the other time on March 2010. In an announcement at Parliament yesterday, Boyd-Knights said she received letters from elected UWP members Hector John (Salisbury constituency),  Edison James (Marigot constituency) as well as Prevost, acquainting her with the fact that they would not be attending this sitting of the House of Assembly.

“Understand it, the power this morning was in the hands of the speaker to push Dominica closer to by-elections, push the fight for the one-party state or to pull back and allow Dominica’s democracy to begin to come back, by excusing the two members. So we have to understand who is pushing for by-elections and the reason why we all understand; it is an ambition that exists within this present Government to have a one-party state in Dominica and Dominicans cannot stay by and allow this,” Prevost said.

Meanwhile,  president of the UWP Edison James supported Prevost, stating, “A letter was sent to the speaker and she read it this morning [Thursday] in the Parliament, which said ‘in accordance with the provision of Standing Order 15.1, I hereby acquaint you to attend the meeting of the House of Assembly to be held on Thursday 29 April, 2010’. That is precisely the wording in the Standing Order.

He accused Boyd-Knights of not granting them leave for the second sitting of the House.

“Last meeting, the speaker, in response to a letter from us, she wrote and she gave the reason for not giving us leave … what was that reason?- ‘Since you did not ask for leave the leave is not granted’, but the Standing Order does not require us to ask for leave … But the reason that she gave for not giving leave is that we did not ask for leave,” James added.

By DNO Correspondent