Leader of the Opposition Party, Lennox Linton, has chastised Speaker of the House, Alex Boyd Knights, for what he described as her “gross” misconduct at the sitting of Parliament, saying that it has “undermined the integrity of Parliamentary democracy in Dominica.”
He said this at a press conference held last week.
Linton stated that Boyd-Knight has acted in an ineffective and dishonourable manner in managing the affairs of Parliament.
“Since the commencement of her engagement in April 2000, Mrs. Boyd-Knights has failed to conduct the affairs of Parliament in an efficient, effective and honorable manner that facilitates fair, balanced contributions from members of Parliament in the context of their oversight, representational and legislative responsibilities,” he said.
Linton stated that the Speaker is lacking in many areas that are needed to facilitate Parliament and this is resulting in the systematic undermining of Parliament’s integrity.
“Her conduct in the house for four straight terms has systematically undermined the integrity of Parliamentary democracy in Dominica through a lack of objectivity, fairness, and professionalism; a disregard for truth righteousness and justice; an unrelenting disrespect and contempt for members of the Parliamentary opposition,” Linton stated.
He accused Boyd-Knights of abusing her role as Independent Regulator “mercilessly,” and functions as if she herself is a member of the government.
“In the face of wide spread public concern and criticisms, Mrs. Boyd-Knights has mercilessly abused her role as Independent Regulator of the business of the House and has functioned as an additional member of the government, committed to disrupt, harass, provoke, denigrate, disrespect and intimidate member of the Opposition,” he said.
Linton enlisted a number of examples to back up his accusations, of which included the “persistent interruption of members of the Opposition during debates in the House.”
“The examples of gross misconduct by the Speaker include, but are not limited to; a characteristically combative vexatious, cantankerous, and contemptuous attitude to the members of the Opposition; nonsensical obstructionist interference with questions and motions posed by the members of the Opposition; persistent interruption of members of the Opposition during debates in the House without any Standing Order objection from the floor; perversely selective application of the Standing Orders in favor of members of the Government…” Linton explained.
He also stated that the Speaker “arbitrarily” accused the Opposition of breaching various Standing Orders.