The United Workers Party is extremely concerned that questions posed to Government Ministers by the Opposition are once again being prevented from reaching their intended recipients.
Mrs Alix Boyd Knights has abused her office as Speaker of Parliament and has demonstrated her hostility towards the democratic process by preventing legitimate questions from Opposition Parliamentarians from being answered by Ministers of Government.
Mrs Knights, in her continuing crusade to assist the Roosevelt Skerrit government in withholding information from the general public, has blocked questions to Mr. Skerrit seeking answers regarding:
• his frequent travels out of State since December of last year
• his public announcement of a chartered plane at Melville Hall Airport directly from the United States
• his receipt of the now notorious e-mail from Mr. Anthony Astaphan regarding electoral reform, and to Minister Ian Douglas about the ownership and shareholding with respect to lands at Crompton Point in the Wesley/Woodford Hill area.
Speaker Knights’ ruling that the questions are ‘out of order’ is not supported by the rules.
Also, the Speaker has mischievously delayed informing Opposition members of her rulings thus allowing no opportunity for clarification, challenge or resubmission of the questions before completing the Order Paper for the next seating of Parliament of Monday, November 29, 2010.
We wish to bring to the attention of civil society and the general public that this unacceptable action of Speaker Knights, in concert with the Leader of the Government, does not foster the conduct of State business and craft in a transparent, non-partisan and confidence building manner. The impact of such behaviour, by the custodians of our Parliament, once again at this critical time can only tend towards the negative. Parliamentarians should not be part of any attempt to conduct our country’s affairs in secret.
We call again on Speaker Knights to cease the frustration of the oversight functions of members of Parliament and to promote the adherence to the democratic principles needed in the conduct of the People’s affairs.
And we further give notice that as Members of Parliament we will take the appropriate action to bring this to the attention of the public and to bring about the democratic and electoral reforms necessary for Dominica.
Hon Ronald Green
United Workers Party