United Workers Party (UWP) leaders on Monday led a protest against Speaker of the House of Assembly Alix Boyd-Knights and the Roosevelt Skerrit administration outside the House of Assembly, which eventually spilled over into other streets in Roseau.
UWP parliamentarians walked out of the sitting of the House – the second consecutive time – and joined in the protest with supporters – some waving placards calling for democracy and equal rights.
The opposition is alleging that the Boyd-Knights is using her powers to prevent questions which are targeted at certain ministers of government in parliament.
“We referred to standing order 31 which allows for a motion to be moved to adjourn the House.We sought to have the House adjourned so that the five questions which we submitted would be considered by the ministers. They did not get into the ministers’ hands because the Speaker blocked them. We found no opportunity in the House of Assembly … to be heard and to participate,” Green said to media after walking out of parliament.
“…And that is why we have walked out of the House there because the Speaker has not seen if fit to consider the fact that five out of eight of our questions – the first time in the history of this parliament – have not been considered and she has not seen it fit to adjourn the House in order that those questions can be put forward to the ministers,” he stated.
Green also accused the Speaker of disrespecting the UWP’s members of parliament in the House this morning.
Opposition Leader Hector John, who also spoke to media after the “walk out”, said that Boyd-Knights was trying to block the opposition’s efforts in every way.
“We called her, we tried to ensure that we participate in the House and she find every way possible to block us out….This is not about the United Workers Party. The speaker is protecting the prime minister,” he said. “The prime minister came on the radio …saying that no question has reached him and he would answer any question, but the damage was already done; he knows today is the House and we have no time to resubmit questions to the Speaker.”
Meanwhile, President of the party, Edison James, said that the Speaker’s actions was part of a direct plan to frustrate the people of Dominica.
“What we see happening here is a determined plan by Alix Boyd-Knights in collaboration with Roosevelt Skerrit to frustrate the people of this country with respect to two matters,” he stated.
John and Green along with other UWP parliamentarians addressed cheering supporters outside parliament.
Simultaneously, the Speaker of the House told parliament this morning that her decision regarding the UWP’s questions were justified and in keeping with House rules.
More on Mrs. Knight’s response in a subsequent report.