House Speaker accused of undermining parliamentary democracy

Linton accused the Speaker of acting as a member of the government.

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.

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62 Comments

  1. Titiwi
    May 31, 2017

    Let’s be honest. During the last session of Parliament the Speaker was exhibiting signs of senility. Her short-term memory and grasp of facts would appear to be impaired. This can happen to anyone with the advance of age but is not acceptable for a such a crucial role. This is nothing personal, only an observation of what I witnessed. Out of respect of the house and the Speaker we should seriously think of a replacement.

  2. May 31, 2017

    That’s the speaker? Wow, the job must be stressful. Some people think they will live forever I am shocked

  3. Wil
    May 31, 2017

    Worst speaker ever!

  4. A blast from the past
    May 31, 2017

    di Speaker beginning 2 look like Senetor Rangel in H,arlem NY
    Is this masculinization taking place.

  5. done&done
    May 31, 2017

    When do people retire?

  6. free
    May 30, 2017

    She has to go…She is very unfair..I have never seen a Speaker of the House behave like her. Troubling

  7. FORKIT
    May 30, 2017

    is not now she undermining democracy, since rosie put her there. that’s a lot of years of damages to repair

  8. jaded
    May 30, 2017

    The opposition does not seem to understand that there are certain things you cannot say in the House. When in the House of Assembly you must only conduct he business of the house and you can’t say things that you would say at a public meeting. When UWP members understand that there will be less acrimony in the house.

    • chocolata
      May 31, 2017

      but the DLP members can bring gun to parliament and threaten the opposition. The Prime Minister – can shove his finger in an aggressive manner in the face of the opposition. Had it been a member of the opposition who brandish a gun in parliament – they would all be arrested. But go ahead it is your season to rejoice in wickedness and evil –

    • Dominica
      May 31, 2017

      I would believe you would make the same statement about Ministers not understanding the rules/clause that they should not carry any weapon including guns in the parliament. I hope you understand the intent of violence from the Minister; and his colleagues practically siding him making all kinds of turns around a roundabout about priveleges. Whats going on in Parliament and in Dominica need to change for the better. Those who have eyes and ears let them see and hear.

  9. May 30, 2017

    Lennox talking about misconduct and ineffective lol omg man you really sick. You never prepare for the seating of the house, you stand and has to be ordered to seat and corrected soo many times. I seat and watch the proceedings of the house and I wonder about Lennox behavior it’s like that of a kindergarten.

  10. %
    May 30, 2017

    She was placed there to do just that…But this too SHALL come to an end…
    SKERRIT MUST GO!
    SKERRIT MUST GO!!
    SKERRIT MUST GO NOW!

    • Same Old
      May 31, 2017

      Man up, cry cry baby. A leopard can’t change it skin. If YOU were not a functional illiterate you would be aware of the bi-laws, so you wouldn’t have to be schooled. Your strength isn’t in parliament rather it’s in the streets with a loud speaker.

      • DominicanDemocrat
        May 31, 2017

        It’s actually spelt ‘by-laws’, not ‘bi-laws’, you functioning illiterate!

    • Gary
      May 31, 2017

      You seem to know everything about who was placed were, but you have never asked yourself who placed Linton into the position he holds causing such a divisive political atmosphere, polarizing the country.If anything has to come to an end, it’s your Hon leader behavior and antics, not the speaker, that is why as a political operative of The UWP you can not see the sins of your party.

  11. Hendricks ismael
    May 30, 2017

    I am trying my best to help the Honourable Mr Linton and the opposition party succeed as business people , it matters who owns the beer company in dominica . It matters who is the richest person in the US . Jamaica 2.6 million inhabitants , 8 billionaire guest who they are ? Barbados 3 billionaire guest who they are? . We are the primary agent in our own distruction in dominica . I do agree with Mr Linton about the speaker of the house and her behavior on her position on occasions towards the opposition members . My problems with every body is the economy is going to collapse what do we do to prevent it. We should not spend our time in parliament solving nothing , I am interested in one thing , Mr Linton how do we create jobs for all who wants to work . In dominica we must create millionars to create jobs. We should stop creating beggers it’s not healthy for the society.

    • Me
      May 31, 2017

      Keep smoking the weed Hendricks. Maybe one day your expensive words will make sense.

  12. Red & Blue in harmony
    May 30, 2017

    Well Mr. Opposition Leader, you thought you had someone who would roll over and play dead for you, but now that you realize you’ve found your match (your met bondah) you crying foul?
    Madam Speaker exercised so much patience this last seating, it’s unbelievable.

  13. May 30, 2017

    The cantankerous bunch in parliament last week was the opposition! Smh Linton!

  14. UDOHREADYET
    May 30, 2017

    Oh lord this guy again!
    He’s actually the main person trying to undermine democracy in the country.

  15. May 30, 2017

    I must commend Boyd-Knights on an exceptional job! Well done! Last week you displayed impartiality, good judgment and fairness all around. For Linton to now lambaste you after he could not tame his members is just a shame! The whole time Danny was belligerent, Isaac could not sit down, and you Linton provoked the Speaker for reasons only you know!

    • Peculiar
      May 31, 2017

      That’s the thing with you all. Only the opposition that doing wrong in the house right? Hypocrites

  16. May 30, 2017

    I found the Speaker to have done a remarkable job during the proceedings! Kudos to her for keeping both sides at bay.

  17. Pam
    May 30, 2017

    That same thing I heard on my house last night! I knew it!

  18. Jayson
    May 30, 2017

    The current speaker of the house is the BIGGEST OBSTACLE to democracy that Dominica has ever faced!

    History will NOT be kind to her.

  19. May 30, 2017

    If Lennox was conducting his self in an honourable manner the speaker would not interrupt him each time

  20. Just Passing Through
    May 30, 2017

    The Speaker is the most tolerant Speaker I have seen. Just asked those DFP members who support the UWP what they went through when the UWP was the Government, then come back and tell us about this Speaker,

    The UWP has been trying to frustrate the Speaker but she knows the Rules of the House which many of the present UWP parliamentarians seem lacking of.

    The UWP must stop blaming everything and everyone for their problems and try being an Opposition Party Dominicans can have faith in and would one day want to lead the country. Unfortunately, they cannot even take responsibility when they are at fault and instead blame others.

    The UWP makes the PM and the DLP look better and better each day since 2000 and more so in recent years. UWP has boycotted Parliament; form people’s parliament. If they attend, they walk out, how many full sessions have they had? For Icing and security cause the House to be suspended. UWP must own up and don’t blame Madam Speaker.

  21. Skerrit Must Go... No!!
    May 30, 2017

    Not even being exposed to the outside world by the live broadcast of Parliament fazes the Speaker.

  22. Yawn....
    May 30, 2017

    Lennox needs to stop crying like a baby and do the people’s job. He complains about every single person who opposes him and finds someone to blame for his shortfalls. What a waste of a leader. Some day his followers will realize that he is only preaching to the choir.

  23. Damas Victor
    May 30, 2017

    Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

  24. Spike
    May 30, 2017

    Any Speaker will be biased, as the Speaker is a member of the majority party. Posters here, so far, cannot argue that the Speaker misbehaved but can only assert that the Speaker is not a member of my party. Like Elizabeth Warren in the US calling a fellow senator a racist until she was told to stand down, Mr. Linton is trying to make himself a martyr through misbehaviour. Instead, he should propose government policy that the people support and that Labour does not. That is how the Parliamentary minority party wields power.

  25. Emile Dominique
    May 30, 2017

    I looked at the last two of the meeting of the house and must conclude that the Speaker was doing a fantastic job of controlling the proceedings. There was constant interruptions from both sides of the isle. The misbehavior of Joseph Isaac and Lennox Linton was the worst. Lennox is only now familiarizing himself with the rules and procedures of the house. He never prepares and had to read some rules for the first time, but in the house.
    He wants to abuse the Speaker for his lack of knowledge or for his refusal to learn good behavior while in the House. He has a posture of saying what ever comes to mind and is always campaigning. In spite of two court rulings against him , he continues his bombast.

    • ki sa
      May 30, 2017

      Eh beh you have good guts.You really think is not the man getting familiar with the rules of the house? Mor dar rah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Emile Dominique
        May 31, 2017

        @ kisa…..In non government organization meetings are conducted with Parlimentry procedure and to interup the person speaking you can stand on a point of order same for the House of Assembly. People who attending such meeting accept those rules. Lennox does not care for rules, but cares for accusations and propaganda. If he did he would know the difference between ‘point of order and point of clarification’. And look at his combative attitude, is that statesmanship. If you looked at the meeting you would observe how Thomas behaved and you can make a judgement call. ” Mor dar rah.” in civil behavior you do not need to call people names if you do not agree. If you find my statement is wrong all you do if post facts or data to refute. As I said I base my assessment on the last two meetings. Did you notice the opposition has no idea about a suplementary questions. Maybe someone should introduce them to the works of Erskine May.

    • Jonathan St jean
      May 30, 2017

      Emile don’t you remember that Mr Volney who was a member of parliament in Trinidad and Tobago wrote a scathing review of the behavior of the speaker of the house.Mr Volney is not a member of the Dominican parliament and spoke recently on the Labor Party political platform in Portsmouth.You on the other hand can’t put your red colored glasses to one side,like Mr Volney,and call the behavior of the speaker what it is,a hatchet job.Alix Boyd Knight is a dishonourable person based on the bad job she has been doing in Parliament

      • Emile Dominique
        May 31, 2017

        @Jonathan St Jean, If I look at the words you use I could say you reside in the USA, I may be wrong. You said I looked at the proceeding of the House with “red colour glasses” I did not. While I am not impressed with the opposition’s ideology I tried to observe the behavior of the Members in an objective manner as a past student of British Constitution when I became familiar with the works of Erskine May. I said in my post, distractions and interruptions was coming from both sides of the isle.
        I read Volney’s very distasteful piece and listen to his more than distasteful performance. With his background and level of education, I expected better on both occasions his performances were insaultive. His personal and private agenda is supported by showboating and grandstanding. He seem to be bitter about some treatment he got in Trinidad.
        I have no idea how the Speaker behaved in past. My postings are based on the last two house meetings. Repeat. She was fantastic

    • UDOHREADYET
      May 30, 2017

      wow well said!

  26. Tj
    May 30, 2017

    I have said on many occasions that Ms Boyd-Knights is not an elected member of the house and her behavior towards opposition members does not reflect he position.

  27. May 30, 2017

    This lady think Dominica is her own plantation, and Dominicans are her slaves, she has a ethnocentric attitude, she speak to people in a condescending manner , she has been doing this thing for so long it has become second nature to her , she need to understand the world does not revolve around her, and she is not the center of the universe , being humble is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of being human , I am part of the so call Dominican Diaspora, but I have been monitoring the political land scape in my Country, I recall one year she call the goon squad Skerro Ton Ton makot , police on the people of Trafalgar who was having a yearly found raiser to raise money for some charity because she said the music was to loud, and to close to her house, the police came in drove, and shut the place down under her order, she need to retire cus she is losing it.

  28. ki sa
    May 30, 2017

    I think the speakers’ action is calculated to disrupt the opposition’s contribution in the house. All these interruptions are designed to do one thing – diminish the opposition’s presentations.

    I think special prayers are needed to mummify that lady – plain and simple.

    • chocolata
      May 30, 2017

      i agree – Prayers must go up! Only prayers can move mountians

    • May 30, 2017

      Tell Lennox carry his self in an honourable way so the speaker of the house will show respect towards him and the rest of his crew

      • %
        May 30, 2017

        He is doing just that..He has nothing to add to add on..And no one will carry your story across anyway.

      • May 31, 2017

        The same applies to Austrie, Justina, the minister of health, Douglas, skerrit and the rest on the government side, stop looking at issues on one side of your eyes, ther are more disturbances in the house skerrit side than on linton side period, like it or not too much double standards in Dominica

    • Fairness for all
      May 30, 2017

      The lady also comes across as very condescending. It’s as though her job is to irritate the opposition and block them any way she can.

  29. Ibo France
    May 30, 2017

    To retain power to the detriment of our most revered institutions, partisan hacks are employed to do the bidding of the government sometimes subtly and other times blatantly. The President, Speaker of Parliament, Election Supervisor, Chief of Police because these play such a critical role in the proper functioning of our democracy, people who are placed in these positions should not be partisan and they should have a proven record of impeccable character and the requisite knowledge, experience and qualifications. These people are the enablers, if malleable and corruptible they prolong the staying power of a corrupt, dictatorial and supercilious government. This clearly seems to be what precisely obtains in Dominica.

  30. Zandoli Claywat
    May 30, 2017

    Her level of biases is catching up to her. In parliament last week many times she could not answer the opposition when they cornered her. Opposition continue to corner her , it only looks bad on her side. She never ears when there is back chat from members of the DLP but always hears from the UWP. She is the worst speaker, a most cantankerous FAM DEBAH!

  31. papa
    May 30, 2017

    Lady u look tired time to retire

  32. May 30, 2017

    Mr. Linton is right; whenever the opposition party is making a good point this woman, by all means, tries her to prevent the outside world from hearing the message which is given by the opposition.This is a ruse to shut the opposition party in a democratic country.The democracy is in danger in Dominica.Another example…whenever the opposition is deciding to gather the public in a meeting; either the permission is refused or the leading political party and the police make the public believe that gathering causes violent and destruction to peoples property.This woman is more a danger to politics than Skerrit himself. She should leave the position for someone else who sees that we all should be able to speak in this free world.

    • Gary
      May 30, 2017

      You have displayed such utter nonsense suggesting that the speaker of the house is a danger to politics than to Skerrit, such a belief is irrational. Why should Linton be constantly be corrected and reminded about the laws governing the forum of the Parliament by the speaker of the House, is this what makes her a danger to politics than Skerrit.When Linton comes to Parliament with his arrogant and hostile behavior believing that the Parliament is just another public meeting held in Lagon and has to be reminded by the speaker it’s not, is this what makes her a danger to politics than Skerrit,wow. Yes,we all should be able to speak in this free world, but the Parliament has rules and etiquette which must be followed. The enforcement of such rules by the speaker of the House should not be characterized as being a danger to politics.

  33. Jill
    May 30, 2017

    A blind man can see that this lady is bias–but she cant help it– too much sewo!!! That is what Dominica has been reduced to thanks to Skerrit. Looking ahead and forgetting Boyd-Knight, Skerrit and others, it will take another 25 years to get back to a normal functioning democracy. There is hope: South Africa dismantled Apartheid so we can do it…..Hold on: hold on.

    • that is what my nation is coming to
      May 30, 2017

      yeah true they dismantled aparthied but have you looked at the news about south africa lately? the sate run media networks are not even broadcasting what is happening in the country at the moment

    • UDOHREADYET
      May 30, 2017

      If the opposition are not following the rules… and she has to discipline them, then it may look as if she is focused on them but in fact its their behavior which is casing the constant disruption.

      • Emile Dominique
        May 31, 2017

        You have a demon …. Whats your beef…..you are an old bag, you are a witch. You are too old you should retire. That is called abuse of women and senior citizens.

    • Gary
      May 30, 2017

      Your reference regarding the blind man is silly. The matter at hand
      regarding the Speaker and Linton cannot be be truthfully understood by sight only.Why such ludicrous statement “it will take another 25 years to get back to a normal functioning democracy” such perceived understanding is your own field of vision why are you placing such vision for Dominica believing such thing to be true.What makes you think that Dominica does not have a normal functioning democracy right now.You need to understand the difference between perception and reality.

  34. Prolific
    May 30, 2017

    They forget it was live on radio and TV.SOME SAYING I came with my boots on, please sit down, please stand up, you must follow the rules. It was just like a punch of children in the playing field. They don’t know how to make the verb agree with the Subject. Madam Speaker only you have the patience to deal with them lots

    • Emile Dominique
      May 30, 2017

      Prolific….That is exactly the problem. Meetings are broadcasted for all to see. I was looking for evidence of bias only to see a patience Speaker dealing with members in a professional manner. Lennox is so unprofessional. He stands up on a point of clarification but does not appreciate her telling him it should be a point of order. He says something to insinuate someone is a criminal and when the speaker tells him to withdraw the statement he denies he said anything that should be withdrawn.
      Then he holds a press conference in which he castigate the speaker. If it was me I would use a nice charming voice to congratulate the speaker for a job well done. My quarrel would be with the government side not with the speaker even if I believe she was bias.
      I was very impressed with the respectful behavior of Thomas, cool, calm and collected. Made his contribution, accepted the Speakers advice then took his seat. Very statesmanlike, he did not come to the house to fight…

  35. Laplaine Observer
    May 30, 2017

    This is not new of the Speaker. She acts like a surrogate for Skeritt and shows no impartiality. In order words, she thinks she is an expansion of Sherritt’s cabinet. Such injustice!

    • The Darkness
      May 30, 2017

      You mean “extension”.

      • Me
        May 31, 2017

        I’m not so sure Darkness, she certainly looks expansive.

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