Prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit, is advising United Workers Party (UWP) senator, Danny Lugay, that he should stay out of parliament until a matter he has before the court is settled.
Skerrit told state-owned DBS Radio that the government “feels very strongly about” that matter and believes Lugay should not attend parliament.
“So my respectful advise to him would be that he should excuse himself from parliament until the matter is heard in court,” he said.
Lugay was arrested and charged last Thursday with inciting the murder of attorney Alick Lawrence arising from statements he made at a UWP political meeting in Soufriere.
He was granted bail in the sum of $8,000 with one surety. Preliminary investigation is set for November 17, 2014.
At the meeting, held on July 3, Lugay said that there are some people who “deserve to die” for keeping Dominica back.
He subsequently apologized but many in the government believe it was a sham and has called for his resignation.
Parliament is expected to meet on Wednesday for the presentation of the national budget.
“I find it very, very strange and totally unacceptable for the government for any member, Danny Lugay or any member, to have a charge, a criminal charge, or having arrested and charged by the police and to sit in parliament,” Skerrit said.
He noted that any public officer who has been arrested and charged by the police is sent home until the case is called.
“I would want to think the same apply, or even a greater level of responsibility would be applied, to those of us who sit in parliament and I do not see how senator Lugay would want to sit in parliament,” Skerrit said.
The prime minister described Lugay’s statement as “damaging.”
“It is something that the government feels very strongly about,” he said. “We do not think senator Lugay should be sitting in parliament after having been arrested and charged for what many in the country, including supporters of the worker’s party, consider to be a very dangerous, damaging, irresponsible statement made by senator Lugay.”
Meanwhile in contradiction to Skeritt’s suggestion, MP for Roseau Central, Norris Prevost, said Lugay “must go to parliament.”
“I advice him to go to parliament,” he said. “This is his duty, it is his duty, his obligation. There is nothing at this stage that says to Mr. Danny Lugay, as far as I can see, as far as the law says, that he should not go to parliament.”